This year’s Small Cells World Summit was in a different league from previous years for a number of reasons.
From a show perspective it was held at the ExCeL in London, as opposed to a Hotel in Central London, but more importantly it was co-located with the Small Cells Backhaul Summit and Carrier Wi-Fi, which widened the breath of reach and introduced some new players in the exhibition hall. This made the whole event much more varied, yet still focused on the Small cells and the wider ecosystem. An interesting new addition to the structure of the event was how the exhibition hall was constantly ALIVE with a Communication Seminar Programme addressing vertical sectors including Civic, Transport and Enterprise Communications. This was a very clever introduction by the organisors Avren/Clarion, one which I’m sure will grow in importance in next year’s show. Registrations topped 1000 this year and the exhibition hall had over 50 exhibitors from around the world – a truly global event.
Our participation at this event was focused around positioning our latest product innovation, the ip.access presenceCellTM which goes beyond providing coverage and capacity and unlocks new revenue streams for MNOs. A recent study carried out by Maravidis Rethink confirmed that over 70% of operators worldwide wanted to see additional benefits as part of their upcoming deployments. The study, conducted by Maravidis Rethink, went out to 20 tier one mobile network operators (all of whom were intending to deploy small cells before 2017) and 20 organizations considering new technologies for retail or banking premises – is available for download HERE.
The need for additional services was also highlighted by Stuart Carlaw in his market update presentation at the event. According to ABI Research, the lack of added services being offered by ‘traditional’ small cells i.e. cells which only provide coverage and capacity – is limiting the growth and wider adoption of the technology.
We couldn’t agree more, in fact discussions we are having with Mobile Operators confirm that their business verticals require a solution and fast. Such location technology driven analytics is currently being done on the macro level by mobile operators. In a recent BBC article, business reporter Matthew Wall talked about how mobile phone network EE – today collates terabytes of anonymised and aggregated data on more than 20 million UK customers and explains why such data is proving increasingly valuable to retailers and advertisers. Now our presenceCell brings this technology indoors and in urban areas and guarantees precise location verification down to a 5 meters radius – unlocking invaluable information such as demographics, dwell time, distance from home, and time between repeat visits.