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Small Cells are Big Things in the Middle East

stuarttaylorI recently had the honor to speak at the Small Cells Forum in Dubai. One thing is certain: Wi-Fi and small cells are certainly important throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.  Operators from throughout the region came together to learn how they could deploy small cells to meet their growing customer demands and improve their own bottom-line in the process.

I took away six key messages from the conference on the future of mobility in the Middle East:

  1. Small Cells Are the Next Big Thing: Operators from large countries like Saudi Arabia to smaller countries like Qatar all wanted to learn how they could use small cells to help them cope with the huge traffic that they are experiencing on their mobile networks and to  improve mobile coverage, especially indoors and in heavily congested areas.
  2. Small Cells Are Not an Add-On: SPs realize that future of mobile networks lies in a heterogeneous network (“HetNet”) world where licensed and unlicensed mobile networks coexist and complement each other.  With their unique strengths, Wi-Fi and licensed small cells are quickly becoming important components of an integrated access portfolio complementing the macro mobile access network.
  3. A New Read More »

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Small Cells Summit in Dubai: 5 things you should know

lgarzaBy Lisa Garza, Service Provider Mobility Marketing Manger

The annual Small Cells event for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) took place this week. It featured regional innovators like Saudi Telecom, Etisalat, Zain and du, in addition to the global small cell pioneers like AT&T and SoftBank. Here’s what we took from the event

1. Mobile data growth and reducing cost-per-bit is a global challenge
The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) shows that mobile IP traffic in MENA region is set to grow 10x over the next four years. Revenues are not set to grow at anything like this pace.  Service providers are responding to the capacity challenge by augmenting macro networks, by adding new spectrum and by introducing more efficient cellular technologies like LTE.  But these steps alone will not povide all of the capacity required, and some, like LTE introduction, will accelerate data usage by encouraging video consumption. The big capacity gains come from reusing cellular spectrum and by offloading to Wi-Fi – that’s what small cells are all about, and they’re a hot topic because the capacity they add comes at a fraction of the cost-per-bit of traditional radio technologies.1

2. Small cells are becoming central to network transformation strategies
These small cells conferences are a barometer of service provider, analyst and vendor thinking.  This year, Read More »

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