Network sharing is a commonly used solution for macro cellular networks when mobile operators want to exploit benefits of sharing infrastructure, typically to save network costs. For local area and indoor networks infrastructure sharing using distributed antenna systems (DAS) and repeaters are commonly used solutions to improve indoor coverage. For these applications multi-operator solutions are well known and supported by both standardization bodies and by collaboration practices. However, when local networks are discussed in terms of femtocell solutions, offloading or heterogeneous networks, the multi-operator context seems to be forgotten. Small cells are often presented in a single-operator context.
This does not comply with market demand and practices, since facility owners neither want one single mobile operator to dominate the capacity provision nor accept multiple indoor infrastructures provided by multiple mobile operators.
In this paper we discussed the business model implications of different multi-operator solutions for indoor deployment. The key findings are in the areas of: i) how multi-operator small cell solutions can fit into existing market practices when it comes to operator business, ii) how local network operators (3rd parties) and outsourcing can play a role in the business landscape, and iii) how different (novel) spectrum allocation and access strategies can play a role for indoor network deployment.
“Shared Smallcell Networks: Multi-Operator or Third Party Solutions – Or Both?“, Jan Markendahl, Amirhossein Ghanbari, in The 4th Intl. Workshop on Indoor and Outdoor Small Cells (IOSC), Tsukuba Science City, Japan, May 2013.