VIDEO INTERVIEW: Sue Monahan, CEO of the Small Cell Forum, told Mobile World Live she was “amazed” at the variety of small-cell use cases for rural and remote areas. “It’s not just about cow fields,” she said, referring to a multitude of possible applications, ranging from transport (planes and ships) to industry (oil rigs and mines), as well as disaster recovery.
“Any place where you don’t get coverage today, small cells can be extended into these environments,” she said. “There is a wealth of opportunity to expand coverage.”
Monahan’s comments came shortly after the Small Cell Forum published Release 5 documentation, which goes into detail about use cases in rural and remote areas (the Forum extended the original scope from just rural).
With Release 5 completing the set of use cases laid out by the Small Cell Forum, Monahan claimed there was a market opportunity for operators to the tune of $163 billion. “650 million more users can also be reached, and the GDP impact is $1 trillion,” she enthused.
Both small and large operators are seeing the benefits of deploying small cells in rural and remote areas, Monahan maintained.
The CEO could also see a big role for the Forum in 5G. “It appears that 5G will be all about small cells, so it’s on our radar and we’ll get involved when needed,” she said. “We stay close with our industry partners, such as 3GPP, NGMN and the GSMA, so we will be collaborating with them in the future on 5G.”