Infonetics Research: Small Cell Operators Face Myriad Operational and Financial Challenges

  Infonetics Research: Small Cell Operators Face Myriad Operational and
  Financial Challenges

Business Wire

CAMPBELL, Calif. -- January 17, 2013

Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its Small Cell
and LTE Backhaul Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, which provides
insights into operators’ current and future plans for outdoor small cells and


“The challenge is on for small cell operators. They’ve been scrambling to test
and trial a large number of technologies, products, and topologies for outdoor
small cells, and they’re under growing pressure to make the rubber meet the
road—not only from their technology and operations people, but even their
business planners,” notes Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst for
carrier networks at Infonetics Research.

“But it won’t be easy,” continues Howard. “These operators face some daunting
challenges: outdoor small cell gear isn’t small enough or cheap enough yet,
and there are problems backhauling in dense urban areas, not to mention
municipal regulations regarding the look, size, and color of the equipment and
who can mount equipment on streetlights, utility poles and building sides.
Even if they managed to solve all these issues, they’re still going to have to
pass the fiscal test. Outdoor small cells won’t fly without a viable business


  *86% of operators surveyed plan to backhaul small cell traffic to nearby
    macrocell sites via a variety of locations, including buildings,
    streetlights, and traffic and utility poles
  *Fiber is the preferred backhaul technology among respondent operators when
    available and cost effective, but the various forms of
    microwave—non-line-of-sight (NLOS), standard microwave, and millimeter
    wave—will be deployed most often
  *When it comes to cost of ownership, a majority of respondents require the
    5-year TCO of a small cell deployment to be within 10% of a typical
    macrocell deployment
  *By 2016, those surveyed expect in-building and outdoor small cells
    (microcells, picocells, and public access femtocells) to handle around 1/4
    of mobile traffic

Infonetics analyst Richard Webb is hosting a Scaling Small Cell Backhaul
webinar on Feb. 19. To learn more or attend, visit


For its 36-page small cell and LTE backhaul survey, Infonetics interviewed
purchase-decision makers at 22 independent wireless, incumbent, competitive,
and cable operators from EMEA, North America, and Asia Pacific about their
current and future plans for small cell and macrocell backhaul. The study
provides insights into mobile traffic handling and specific backhaul issues
related to outdoor small cells, in-building small cells, and macrocells. To
buy the report, contact Infonetics:


  *Infonetics’ January Mobile Backhaul / Small Cell research brief:
  *Telecom sector growth still outpacing GDP growth
  *Outdoor small cell backhaul a 5-year $5 billion opportunity
  *Operators spending $5.6B over 5 years on Ethernet access devices; ADVA
    takes top spot
  *Small cell is the buzz but DAS is the biz, say operators in latest
    Infonetics survey


Download Infonetics’ market research brochure, publication calendar, events
brochure, report highlights, tables of contents and more at

  *Femtocell Equipment Market Share and Forecast
  *LTE Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey
  *Macrocell Mobile Backhaul Equipment and Services Market Share and Forecast
  *Microwave Equipment Market Share and Forecast
  *Millimeter Wave Equipment Market Size and Forecast
  *Mobile Spectrum Market Size and Forecast
  *Service Provider Routers and Switches Market Share and Forecast
  *Small Cell Equipment Market Size and Forecast
  *Small Cell Mobile Backhaul Equipment Market Size and Forecast


Visit to learn more or register
for Infonetics events.

  *WEBINAR: Integrating Carrier WiFi with the Mobile Network, with Ruckus
    (Feb. 5)
  *WEBINAR: Session Border Controllers in VoLTE, with Metaswitch (Feb. 12)
  *WEBINAR: Scaling Small Cell Backhaul, with Alcatel-Lucent, Ceragon,
    Vitesse (Feb. 19)
  *WEBINAR: 100G Optics: Why Operators Are Upgrading Now; Cisco, Cyan, Oclaro
    (Mar. 5)
  *WEBINAR: Core Routers Move to the Metro, with Alcatel-Lucent, TBA
  *WEBINAR: Diameter Signaling Control: Managing Mobile Broadband Growth;
    Ericsson, TBA
  *WEBINAR: Service Provider SDNs: Here to Stay (Sponsorships available)
  *WEBINAR: Routing vs. Ethernet for LTE Backhaul (Sponsorships available)
  *WEBINAR: Small Cells Reality Check (Sponsorships available)


N. America (West), Asia, Latin America: Larry Howard,, +1

N. America (East), Texas, Midwest: Scott Coyne,, +1

Europe, Middle East, Africa: George Stojsavljevic,, +44

Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan:


Infonetics Research ( is an international market research
and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader
in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world
regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete effectively.
View Infonetics’ About Us slides at

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:



Infonetics Research
Michael Howard, +1 408-583-3351
Co-founder and Principal Analyst, Carrier Networks
Twitter: @MichaelVHoward
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