Complementing macrocell deficits with either smallcells or Wi-Fi: willingness to choose based on the cost-capacity analysis
2013 (English)In: 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 88530, International Telecommunications Society (ITS), 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
Nowadays, the increasing mobile data traffic adds extra pressure on the almost congested mobile networks. In order to meet the new demand, mobile operators have to improve their networks but as revenues are not expected to rise, they have to add extra capacity in a cost-efficient way. The solution might come from shifting the mobile data traffic towards indoor alternative networks, an approach known as mobile data offloading.Among indoor solutions two technologies stepped forward, Wi-Fi and smallcells. This paper analyses the two technologies as complementing solutions for macrocell layer in the mobile data offloading context. The main discussed questions are whether the two solutions are interchangeable and what are the risks and pitfalls when choosing one of the two technologies. In order to answer the research questions, based on a proposed real life deployment scenario, a capacity-cost calculation has been driven. Thus, a newly built office building lacking indoor mobile coverage has been considered. Based on the calculated offered capacity, the deployment costs for a comprehensive solution using either of the two technologies have been estimated. The cost of provisioning for different solutions is based on the fact that either of these solutions needs to be built from scratch and no former type of coverage exists.Regarding the interchangeability question, based on the conducted analysis, we claim that the answer is both “Yes” and “No”. “Yes” since the total cost of ownership for each technology is one order of magnitude lower compared to the traditional macrocell deployment. “No”, since deploying a smallcell network is four times more expensive than the Wi-Fi case when the same capacity is required. Thus, we can conclude that Wi-Fi and smallcells are two complementary rather than competing technologies. The goal is to offer a solution where the end-customer cannot tell whether he is connected on Wi-Fi or cellular. Integrating the two technologies into one single offered solution comes as the next normal step, more an evolution rather than a revolution.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134359OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-134359DiVA: diva2:666149
24th European Regional International Telecommunication Society Conference, Florence, Italy, 20 - 23 October 2013
QC 201402142013-11-222013-11-222014-02-14Bibliographically approved