Track 3: 5G Infrastructure Preparedness

Challenges of Designing and Deploying Small Cell Networks

September 26, 2019 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

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Ryan Pettijohn
Gary Smith



Small cells have been around for several years, but never grew like the industry expected. Small cells are now gaining traction and being used to densify wireless networks and provide additional bandwidth in areas where it is needed. Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) predicts the number of small cells will increase from 17,000 in 2017 to over 800,000 by 2026. This presentation will focus on the issues service providers need to consider when designing and engineering small cells as well as all the steps that have to be taken during the deployment process. Networks can have 100s of small cells in a geographic area. Sites are located on street lights, poles, overhead cables, or attached to buildings, and each location requires site acquisition and engineering in addition to standard deployment services. The daunting task of deploying hundreds of sites requires skillful planning and the flexibility to make adjustments when things don’t go as planned. The presentation will also cover lessons learned in deploying small cell networks.