The biggest potential shift in turfing vendor markets will come after the end of the forecast period when Google begins to offer 3G speed free Internet connectivity worldwide. This will come from its Loon project that uses balloons launched at 22,000 feet above the earth, guided by upper air winds, implementing a new telecom bandwidth. For the immediate future, specialty telecom & infrastructure turf contractor markets will continue as they have using the installed base of cell towers, base stations, and with the addition of small cells to extend bandwidth capability locally in an energy efficient manner.
Macro cell towers are the primary way to implement a wireless network. Cell towers provide broad network coverage that is line of sight. Once a cell tower is installed, if the wireless coverage is not sufficient, it is difficult to get more network coverage for the data hungry smart phones.
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There are only limited areas in which to install macro cell towers. The alternative to macro cells for higher capacity gains is to install a small cell LTE underlay network to provide the additional capacity needed at the appropriate location that does not require extensive permitting and expense to purchase and install.
Wireless Data Traffic Growth: No End in Sight
Wireless data traffic growth is significant:
Small cells are better than base stations for expanding wireless infrastructure coverage in the era of smart phones. Wireless signals have incremental strength added locally in home, airport, or enterprise.
Small cells are able to offload traffic from the macro network to an underlay network at a street and indoor level. Small cells work for individual subscribers, public places, and enterprises. Small cells create a wireless signal transmission zone. A cluster of low-power access points are connected to a local controller. The quality of voice calls and data transmission is improved in a cost effective manner.
Small cells are units that address wireless services operator needs to continue to support of mix of 3G and 4G subscriber device generations and a mix of 3G and 4G technology within the same device. LTE standards for data are well established but wireless devices, smart phones still use 3G for voice services, creating a need for 3G and 4G transmission capability.
Delivery of voice services over LTE networks has not been standardized yet. Operators continue to deliver voice via their 3G networks even as they move data to LTE. As a result, subscriber devices are a mix of 3G-only and 4G plus 3G, with very few 4G-only devices.