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Neutral host platforms simplify in-building deployments for the 5G era to improve customer experience

Roberto Kompany Senior Analyst, Research

"MNOs and enterprise managers need to partner with neutral host companies because a shared infrastructure is the most-economical way to deploy small cells in an indoor environment and to deliver coverage in the 5G era."

Indoor coverage in the era of 5G was a topic that was frequently discussed at this year's Small Cell Forum conference held in London in May. Mobile operators in many countries are not investing in in-building coverage. Until now, there has been no significant risk to the most-business-critical mobile service, voice. This is because mobile network operators (MNOs) have had access to a wide range of spectrum bands, which has enabled them to deliver indoor coverage largely without indoor small cells. Without 5G indoor small cells, however, there is a risk of poor session continuity and customer experience. In addition, a wider range of services that rely on indoor coverage will become critical within enterprise environments. This comment will examine the issues and options available to operators and enterprise managers, including neutral host platforms, shared infrastructure and spectrum.