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Deployed small cells pass 10 million mark

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More than 10 million small cells have been deployed globally, with a new report from the Small Cells Forum claiming over 75 operators are using the technology.

The forum predicted deployments will accelerate during the next year, as small cells are increasingly used by operators to handle capacity. In total, 10.2 million small cells have now been shipped globally.

Vodafone is one of the latest operators to announce it was using the technology, deploying a range of Ericsson small cells across its store portfolio in the Netherlands.

At Mobile World Congress earlier this month, the Small Cells Forum revealed the latest in its release series. Release Five gave a guide to connecting rural and remote areas. The forum said there are now 17,000 small cells deployed in these areas and by connecting remote regions, operators could unlock up to $163 billion of new revenue.

Alan Law, Chair of Small Cell Forum, commented: “This significant milestone shows how small cells are fast becoming key components in networks with over ten million units now in the market. This is being backed up by what we saw recently at Mobile World Congress with an incredible variety of announcements from operators, vendors and partners all pointing to a maturing market for a really exciting technology.”

Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts, which carried out the research, said: “With careful cross-checking of industry sources, we've been able to verify that 10.2million small cells have now been shipped globally, with over ten million now deployed. The majority of these to date have been deployed in residential scenarios, but we have also seen a significant step upward in the enterprise and urban sectors.

"Our longstanding prediction that non-residential small cells will ramp up in 2015 is becoming a reality, as capacity and indoor coverage are now critical for operators.”

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