Power, space and cabling are three essential requirements for indoor small cells, and the companies that make these compact radios are teaming up to educate builders on how to best accommodate small cells. The Small Cell Forum has published a vendor-neutral guide for the real estate and building design industries entitled “Making buildings small cell ready.”
Will real estate developers spend more to make their buildings ready for small cells? This question remains to be answered, but it is clear that the added cost of making a building ready for small cells is likely to be lower than the cost of making adaptations after the structure is complete.
“Building owners know that tenants are increasingly insisting on good indoor mobile coverage,” said Small Cell Forum chief strategy officer Julius Robson in a blog post. “A growing number of building owners and tenants are now using small cells to provide excellent mobile indoor coverage and capacity, as well as carrier-grade features like PBX integration, content caching and precise indoor location.”
Robson said the Small Cell Forum is also working with the Telecommunications Industry Association’s smart buildings working group to ensure that small cell readiness is a requirement for smart building design.
“Longer term we’d like to see standards, certification and training around making buildings small cell ready,” Robson said.
All the nationwide U.S. mobile operators use indoor small cells in select buildings that need more capacity. Sprint, for example, has partnered with both SpiderCloud Wireless and CommScope for small cells, and has also installed 80,000 of its own Magic Box wireless relay indoor small cells. Except for Verizon, all the nationwide U.S. operators are members of the Small Cell Forum.
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