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Small Cells get clever at SCWS

Posted by Darren Willsher on 19th June 2014

Last week we were supporting the Small Cell Forum at Small Cell World Summit in London – a conference that explores part of the telecoms world dedicated to providing coverage and capacity wherever it’s needed.

Caroline Gabriel of Maravedis-Rethink has put together an excellent summary of the show, but for me what was clear this year is that small cells are starting to appeal to more than just the telecoms space.

You might recognise small cells in the form of the Vodafone Sure Signal, but this is a technology that is increasingly being used on a much larger scale, providing coverage and quick data rates in airports, busy city centres or stadiums.

It’s these deployments that open up small cells to a range of clever new applications, from measuring visitor flow in shopping centres to targeting special offers and services.

While these applications have been possible for some time now, at the show we saw several announcements that directly address this and it’s an area that seems to be gaining real traction.

This is all excellent news, not just for people who’d like better mobile coverage, but for those in the marketing world who want to understand how visitors or customers behave and to better target the work they’re doing. For example this could let stadium owners or public transport operators see where people are coming from, managing transport or targeting them with food and drink offers to encourage them to arrive in the stadium earlier.

As an agency that’s been working with small cells since the invention of the word ‘femtocell,’ we’ve seen this industry come a long way. What was great to see at SCWS this year was that this isn’t just a tech that’s important to mobile operators but one with a much broader appeal and one that can offer a lot more than just coverage.

Image credit: SOLiDUSA

Darren Willsher

Darren has been with Wildfire for six years and is one of the driving forces behind the agency’s telecoms and networking portfolio, with experience working on a range of international, multi-channel accounts including CSR, Picochip (now Mindspeed), Real Wireless, The Small Cell Forum, Samsung and Allied Telesis.