PCIA’s DAS Forum has had the same challenge of many in the industry. (This publication included.) After distributed antenna systems became the coverage and capacity savior of the wireless industry, Wi-Fi went from stopgap band aid to carrier grade wireless Internet service. Then small cells, with their systems-on-a-chip, became the new hot topic.
Which technology is the winner? That depends on economics and coverage needs. One thing the experts appear to agree on is that the different technologies will eventually become part of a heterogeneous network (HetNet). Hence, the DAS Forum has a new moniker — the HetNet Forum.
The HetNet Forum said its new name reflects its increasingly diverse membership and its focus on advancing the variety of small cell solutions — DAS, microcells, picocells, Wi-Fi and remote radio units. The HetNet Forum represents more than 60 companies that deploy small cell network architectures, including OEMs, infrastructure providers, systems integrators and end-user companies.
“This is a key transition at the right time for our industry,” said Jonathan Adelstein, president and CEO of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, parent of HetNet Forum. “HetNet Forum members are using every tool in their toolbox to deliver wireless broadband to consumers everywhere—indoors and outdoors, urban and rural.”
With so many technologies being introduced in such a short period of time, it is difficult to keep up with the new nomenclature. Using several blogs and columns, this issue of the DAS Bulletin is dedicated to providing a better understanding of small-cell technology and small-cell backhaul.