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The Small cells in Asia–Pacific: lessons learned

  • March 2016
  • -
  • Analysys Mason
  • -
  • 33 pages

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Executive summary
Small cells have yet to be deployed on a massive scale in the APAC region and operators still have significant opportunities to increase capacity by different means.

Mobile data traffic continues to grow in the region, but at a slower rate in the more-developed economies where average usage is higher. This slowing growth raises questions about the extent to which MNOs will need to increase network capacity. One option is to densify networks using small cells, but this presents challenges in the form of site acquisition, securing backhaul and mitigating interference between small cells and macrocells.

This report assesses the extent to which APAC MNOs need to invest in network densification and to what extent they have already done so. It also considers the scope for MNOs to increase capacity by other means, for example, with new spectrum and new air interface technologies.

The report examines solutions to small-cell roll-out challenges in APAC, including the use of SCaaS offerings. Case studies of small-cell and C-RAN deployments in South Korea and Japan show how MNOs have been able to densify their networks.

The report recommends that in many cases MNOs in APAC can increase network capacity without investing in small cells. For MNOs with an urgent need to increase capacity, SCaaS models can make sense.

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