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Densification is more than small cells. Or DAS. Or Wi-Fi. The demand to carry more traffic, to more device types, with more reliability and lower latency creates the need for networks that not only have a higher density of RAN access points, but that are fundamentally different. The atomic, discrete networks we have today are morphing into pervasive networks, that are distributed and moving closer to devices and subscribers. 

In this report we look at what enables operators to move from ad-hoc to massive densification, and how that changes wireless networks. 

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I am starting to work on a new report on this topic (and yes it will cover mmW and fixed wireless too). If there is anything you'd like to discuss or share, let me know 

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Most of large venues have indoor infrastructure. The challenge now is to reach the medium-sized venue – the Middleprise. We talked to Ken Sandfeld, President of SOLiD America, about what technology and business models can address this challenge. 

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Interference identification and management in dense, multilayer networks is a crucial task and, in many ways, a different task than in a macro only network. In our conversation with Tom Elliott, Product Manager at Anritsu we talked about how to identify sources of interference in DAS and small-cell networks.

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With most of traffic generated by subscribers in indoor locations, Samsung has directed its focus on the indoor small-cell market. Nivi Thadasina, Senior Director of 5G and 4G Engineering at Samsung Electronics America told us: “In 2007 the need was coverage. In-building was the challenge. The signal was not penetrating where it needed to. The immediate need from our customers was “Hey. Can we get coverage in areas where it’s very hard to reach through micro cells?” 

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Densification changes the inter-cell site dynamics. We talked about these changes and how they are driving a shift from cell-centric to user-centric networks with Ozgun Y. Bursalioglu, Senior Researcher at DOCOMO Innovations.

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Andy Sutton, Principal Network Architect, BT, has been working for a long time on small-cell and backhaul solutions that address the increasing capacity and coverage requirements. 

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How does a densified network change the way carriers test their networks? We discussed this topic with Jeremy Cline, North America Product Manager, and Rob Wattenburg, North America SwissQual Business Director, at Rohde &Schwarz.

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I talked to a Director of Network Architecture and Strategy who choose to remain anonymous about the enterprise requirements and whether carriers meet them. He told us “I’m looking to move to small cells. I’ve been pushing carriers in that direction. Unfortunately, I haven’t got them on the same page as I am. They have their single-point solution; for each carrier, it’s all different.”

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We discussed our report "Massively densified networks. Why we need them and how we can build them" in a webinar on September 14, 2016 at 8:00 am PT, 11:00am ET, 4:00 pm BST (UTC+1), 5:00 pm CEST, 11:00 pm HKT. You can listen to it offline here

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