April 2014


To say the mobile revolution is here is, at best, an understatement, and at worst, several years late.

Various sources estimate from 40% to 55% of data traffic (such as online retail) takes place through mobile devices. In other words, if not already, users soon will access the internet more through mobile devices than with a PC.

As with any growth area in technology, the increased deployment of small cell architectures and installations creates questions, topics for discussion, and opportunities for the sharing of information. Further, it’s likely that small cell topologies will to continue to increase in use in networks as a solution for cost-effectively handling increased capacity and coverage for mobile applications.

As an alternative to small cell architectures, distributed antenna system (DAS) designs are taking hold worldwide as an avenue for providing coverage in targeted locations. Utilizing a structure similar to spokes off a hub in a wheel (with a cell site, or macrocell, as the hub and antennae as the spokes outward in areas of concentrated demand), DAS solutions typically can be shared by multiple operators and utilize localized power.

As the electrical power industry continues to evolve toward Smart Grid-based architectures, traditional standards bodies such as IEEE are playing a significant role in developing guidelines that will affect network and power engineers, system designers, and others involved in network deployment.