Study shows satellite backhaul and small cells help reach untapped markets

by Staff Reporter | May 3rd, 2012

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), and Informa Telecoms & Media, a leading analyst firm, released a new survey and whitepaper that demonstrates the market value and potential of satellite backhaul when used in conjunction with small cells.

The research revealed that a solution combining the two technologies offers an affordable way for mobile operators to improve their services and expand into underserved markets.

Informa’s research shows that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a combined solution using satellite and small cells proves to be competitive when compared to similar network deployments using other technologies and can deliver a Return on Investment (ROI) in as little as two years.

As portable devices create a surge in mobile data traffic, operators are looking for ways to cost effectively expand their customer base. Small cells that are easy to deploy and cost less are increasingly replacing macrocells as a preferred technology among mobile operators. Informa’s research shows that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a combined solution using satellite and small cells proves to be competitive when compared to similar network deployments using other technologies and can deliver a Return on Investment (ROI) in as little as two years.

Key findings

Nearly 90% of survey respondents said that small cells would be important for reaching the next one billion subscribers, and almost half (47%) of respondents believe small cells are a preferable solution to traditional 2G or 3G macrocells for rural expansion.

Nearly 83% of mobile operators would be interested in evaluating a cellular backhaul solution that combines satellite and small cells.

Mobile operators in the survey listed on-going operational expenses and the cost of capacity as the primary factors when evaluating backhaul solutions for rural connectivity.

The survey featured insights from 330 senior telecom industry professionals along with detailed interviews with over 10 executives from major mobile operators. Representatives from mobile system integrators and hardware and software vendors also participated in the research.

“There has been a lot of demand in the mobile industry to expand 3G and 4G into remote and rural areas, and our survey results clearly demonstrate that small cell technology is the preferred path. When combined with satellite, small cell deployments offer an efficient and economical backhaul solution that is highly appealing to mobile operators,” saide Julian Bright, senior analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media

“At iDirect, we are always looking for ways to expand the use of satellite technology and create new market opportunities, which is why we commissioned this research. As more mobile operators begin to realize the benefits of small cell deployments, we are ready to help them grow their business with a platform that integrates seamlessly with the latest small cell technology to create a low-cost solution for remote and rural connectivity,” said Richard Deasington, director, market development, iDirect

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