Articles by Monica Paolini
The challenge of how operators can pack more traffic and services on the infrastructure it already has and improve subscribers' experience is not a new one--but there has been great innovation in the tools, their availability and their effectiveness over the last few years. Our understanding of how traffic dynamics have changed and continue to change, and how to track them in live networks makes the case for active traffic management much more compelling from a cost-saving and revenue-generating perspective.
"We have been talking about small cells for a long time now, but when are operators going to deploy them for real?" is a question I often get. True, I also used to get the same question about Wi-Fi hotspots, and, even though it was a somewhat slow process, today every smartphone has Wi-Fi and can find some way to connect to a Wi-Fi network.
I have been following the evolution of backhaul solutions for a while because backhaul is crucial to the small-cell business case. The reason for this is simple: backhaul accounts for up twice as much of the percentage of the TCO for small cells than it does for macro cells. As it is always the case with wireless TCOs, most of it comes from the opex. While equipment cost is an important variable, the key issue is that the backhaul solution has to be low cost to install, maintain, and operate.