Mobile operator Smart Communications has started deploying the country?s first small-cell network infrastructure and the first installation was at the recent 9th Asian Carriers Conference (ACC), held for two days at Shangri-La?s Mactan Resort & Spa in Cebu.
Small cells are miniaturized base stations that offer immediate means of providing stable and reliable mobile broadband or 3G and LTE coverage, when and where required, and without the need to build new towers and cellsites.
The configuration allowed the telco to efficiently and effectively serve the connectivity needs of over 1,300 participants from 45 countries.
?There is no better venue to showcase this kind of relevant network solution than at the ACC, where leaders of the global carrier industry discuss and share the latest technologies and breakthroughs in telecommunications and ICT,? said Rolando G. Pe?a, head of technology at Smart and PLDT.
The small-cell solution provides localized network capacity and coverage improvement in jam-packed areas and big events where people converge, or where wireless signal normally gets congested.
The ACC participants, representing 322 of the biggest telecom carrier firms around the world, were among the first to experience this innovation.
Aside from providing smoother connectivity for mobile users, small cells are being tapped around the world for their flexibility and promise of providing a cleaner signal with less power, making them environment-friendly. In the long run, the use of small cells will also reduce the need to build more cell towers.
In a report early this year, Informa Telecoms & Media, one of the leading sources of intelligence in the telecoms industry around the world, touted small cells to be one of the defining mobile network trends in the coming years.
It also predicted that the installed base of small cells around the world is set to grow eight-fold — from around 11 million units in February 2013 to 92 million units in 2016.
However, the real measure of efficiency and optimum performance of small cells hinges heavily on a reliable wireless network.
In tune with the global trend, the small-cell architecture deployed by Smart at the ACC was composed of small-antenna systems connected wirelessly to a ?donor? cellsite outside the hotel.
This donor cellsite, like all other Smart cellsites, is connected via fiber optic technology to the core network of the wireless operator and its parent company PLDT.