The unprecedented growth of demand for wireless data is radically reshaping the telecommunications landscape. The extraordinary thing is that despite this explosion, the likelihood is that even more dramatic growth lies ahead.
Currently, advanced forms of LTE are being deployed. These will be followed by 5G, which is moving from carrier and vendor labs to field tests. Indeed, 5G is running ahead of schedule. Demand has sparked the development ecosystem and commercial deployments will start before the initial 2020 target.
A more basic first step underlies all this, however. These developments depend upon the creation of a far deeper physical infrastructure than has sufficed in the past. Macro base stations must be supplemented by a far more sophisticated and deeper infrastructure.
Many types of small cells will be used to “densify” networks. That’s an awkward word, but a good description of the goal, which is to use small cells and other equipment to add capacity to the network that is already in place.
- Small cells are a key to fulfilling the new requirements.
- 5G will feature higher frequency approaches than previously used.
- At this point, a good deal of the focus is on using 5G for fixed wireless applications.
“The signs seem to be good for the sector. Some, however, say that it has not yet taken off. To date, according to Paul Hanna, the vice president of Global Marketing for Casa Systems, shipments have been a bit disappointing.”