Small Cell 5G Optimization_ Keys To Improving Tomorrow’s Infrastructure Today

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the ongoing rollout of 5G connectivity. From the race between the United States and China to the development of innovative 5G-enabled devices, it seems as if each day brings an exciting new development. Unfortunately, some of the most important details surrounding next-generation networks tend to get lost in this shuffle.

A prime example of this trend can be found in small cell technology. While insiders familiar with the telecommunications industry are familiar with this new approach to infrastructure, most casual observers have never heard the term. Worst of all, even telecommunications professionals can struggle to fully grasp the intricacies of small cells due to a lack of practical resources.

To help inform telecommunications professionals, we’ve created a brief guide on small cell 5G optimization. Consider this blog a short collection of “tips and tricks” that can help improve your company’s approach to this innovative infrastructure approach.

What Are Small Cells?

First off, it’s important to define what a small cell is in practice. Small cells are miniaturized deployments of telecommunications equipment that can be installed nearly anywhere. They tend to be about the size of a backpack and are deployed in dense configurations to provide adequate coverage to all users.

Prioritized Modularity Whenever Possible

One of the best ways to optimize today’s small cell infrastructure is to minimize downtime as much as possible. Modular designs focused on using consumer-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and basic architectures whenever possible can help promote serviceability. Turning away from custom hardware and complex architecture may seem counterintuitive, yet it makes a world of difference.

The Devil’s In The Details

Small cell infrastructure is far more complicated than legacy cell tower configurations. It can be challenging to manage such complexity, especially for firms that aren’t used to working on the cutting-edge of telecommunications. Successful small cell deployments are all about getting as many units up-and-running as quickly as possible. Therefore, it is imperative to track processes, inventory, and progress surrounding small cell projects. Minimizing mistakes during deployment can help promote success once next-generation capabilities are online.

Be Mindful Of Local Codes & Regulations

Small cell infrastructure requires numerous units to be deployed over geographic areas. Sometimes, small cell networks can even span multiple municipalities or even state lines. In these cases, it’s crucial to have a firm understanding of local building codes and regulations. In one town, it may be possible to place small cells on the side of buildings, while another city won’t allow it.

Remember the controversy surrounding cell tower deployments in years past? Small cell is already running into similar issues, with residents pushing back on new deployments. While this new technology standard has been proven to be harmless, it may be wise to consider contingencies in the event of serious pushback from local organizations.

At the end of the day, an optimized small cell network is one without notable gaps in coverage. If you work to keep the advice outlined above in mind, your organization will be well on its way to deploying optimized solutions for small cell networks.


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