Is small cell architecture a capacity savior?

small cells pole antennasSince the beginning of 2011, network infrastructure vendors have been falling over each other to introduce more advanced small-cell architecture solutions to help operators address network capacity constraints. Experts agree that soon strategies to boost wide-area network capacity--such as increasing the spectral efficiency of the air interface--will be exhausted, and that operators will have to embrace small-cell solutions. And while many operators acknowledge that shrinking cell coverage is an answer to the network capacity crunch going forward, many vendors still have work to do when it comes to constructing small cells, backhauling their traffic and mitigating their interference with the macro network. Special report