As 5G rollouts gather steam, the deployment is driving the surge for small cells. High-density 5G small cell deployments are crucial to rollouts in urban settings where demand is high and efficient spectrum reuse is essential. While it is important to fulfill strict zoning and permitting standards, small cells are getting smaller—smaller radios, more compact antennas, and so forth, to meet performance targets.
But the problem is that a small cell site is more than just the radio and antenna—it’s also about the power distribution, fiber-optic backhaul connectivity, and ideally, battery backup power. And these elements aren’t shrinking as quickly as the rest. Their operation also has a big impact on the costs associated with the site’s installation and management, since they add complexity to site architecture and energy use remains the number one OpEx consideration.
CLICK-TO-TWEET: As 5G rollouts gather steam, the deployment is driving the surge for small cells. Find out how you can realize the full benefits when deploying 5G small cell clusters in urban settings.
A smarter way to power your small cell networks
The best way to overcome these interrelated challenges could be through an innovative re-evaluation of the architecture of small cell clusters themselves. Many of these functions can be centralized remotely in a hub-spoke architecture, providing reliable AC and DC power connectivity, service continuity via battery backup, as well as fiber backhaul connectivity.
CommScope’s latest PowerShift Metro is a highly-customizable integrated power and fiber distribution platform that serves as a seamless power and wireline handoff to clusters of small cells ranging up to four square miles of area.
The solution can impart several highly valuable benefits when deploying 5G small cell clusters in urban settings, including:
- Centralized battery backup resources instead of bulky batteries built into individual sites
- Efficient power management that can be customized to deliver precise voltages
- Less complex sites that are faster, easier and more economical to deploy
- Flexible backup capabilities that enable node prioritization in the event of grid failure
- Intelligent power management to unlock “peak shaving” abilities that can reduce power costs
- Offloaded site functions that enable smaller, more zoning-friendly small cell form factors
5G deployments continue to ramp up
While the pandemic brought some disruption to 5G roll-out, the race to 5G continues. According to a global market study in Q1, 67 markets across US, Europe, Middle East and Asia already have commercial 5G services.
As network operators continue to expand their 5G footprint, critical decisions are being made in order to reap the higher data transmission and increased capacity benefits of 5G networks, and small cells will undeniably play a significant role to the success of a 5G infrastructure.
According to a study by Rethink RAN Research, there will be 1.56 million private 5G small cells deployed by 2027. In CommScope, we’re committed to helping small cells do more in the densest, most challenging environments—and we’re putting in the work to make it a reality. To find out how to drive 5G rollouts in a new way with small cell densification, check out this short video.