March 1, 2016 — Small cells themselves are becoming more and more mainstream. Much of the small cell deployments are stand-alone but now there is a movement to aggregate small cell sites into a common platform that will ease the integration and management of the network.
This is a logical next step. Carriers are doing that with carrier Wi-Fi, LTE-U and other small radio sites.
This direction will create an opportunity to scale across tens of thousands of individual small/medium sized businesses that would otherwise be either stand-alone or smaller networks like campuses, malls or stadiums.
This approach will enable the ecosystem to scale up. It removes the complexity of having the network operator being involved in every single new small cell deployment, performing tasks such as configuring into the core network, backhaul, site survey and project management. This is all offloaded to a third party for management. All the network operator has to do is manage the infrastructure.
It also speeds up small cell deployments and enables small cell sharing across networks. Welcome to small cells as a service (SCaaS).