New Nokia HetNet Engine Room service speeds small cell deployments by 30% #NetworksPerform

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New service cuts costs by 20%, reaches 10% more people Uses a Site Value Index to quantify site cost and value to the network Solution initially commercially available to U.S. operators now Nokia Networks launches its new HetNet Engine Room service that helps U.S. operators to maximize return on investment (ROI) through a scalable and repeatable process for building higher density networks.

Nokia uses a special Site Value Index to simplify the process of evaluating where to place small cells. By using this service solution, operators can potentially deploy small cells 30% faster, with costs reduced by around 20%, and serve 10% more subscribers.

By 2020 – ahead of 5G – mobile networks will profitably deliver gigabytes of personalized data per user per day, and operators are preparing for the huge data growth with higher and higher density networks, which necessitates the deployment of small cells. Costs for deploying small cells include those associated with acquiring new sites, obtaining the necessary permits and providing power and backhaul. The new HetNet Engine Room helps operators forecast the costs of a site location and the ROI, allowing them to build dense networks in the most effective way.

Nokia Networks developed its HetNet Engine Room service after conducting a small cells trial  in the U.S., which revealed that it can be challenging to control small cells deployment costs due to the availability of power, backhaul and municipal requirements to complete expensive remedial work. The trial also showed huge variances in costs: for example, pole rental costs can range from $50 to $1,000 per month. Costs can also vary significantly from one side of a road to another and between locations only a few feet apart.

The HetNet Engine Room service in a nutshell:

The service uses detailed 3-D street level maps to determine potential locations that are the most viable for deployment, taking into consideration spectral efficiency, traffic hotspots and street assets such as pole height, access to fiber and power cabinets.

A 3-D geolocation tool helps select the right locations inside multi-story buildings to target small cells and distributed antenna system (DAS) investments.

Deployment costs are then forecast by reviewing jurisdiction and permit requirements, including trenching costs, structural analysis and possible pole replacement.

This information as well as data on ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ assets are entered into a planning tool. Positive assets include power and backhaul availability and known ‘friendly’ sites where permits or agreements with site owners exist. Negative assets include the location of gas pipelines, traffic lights or particularly restrictive local regulations.

Once all of the information is captured, a Site Value Index is applied to compare benefits versus costs, quantifying the likely ROI for operators based on network value and cost to develop different locations.

Asad Rizvi, Vice President of Services for North America, Nokia Networks, said: “In a recent small cells project, we found that the majority of the sites chosen initially were not economically or practically viable to deploy small cells. By using a fact-based, automated solution to identify areas needing coverage – both indoor and outdoor – installation becomes more cost efficient and deployment times are significantly reduced. We believe that our new HetNet Engine Room is a unique approach the industry has been looking for to support ultra-dense network deployments.”

The HetNet Engine Room service solution is commercially available to U.S. operators now.