To expedite the roll-out of 5G, telecom operators in the country will leverage street furniture such as poles, advertisement hoardings and bus shelters for deploying low-power base stations called ‘small cells’ that will help bring the network closer to the consumers.
- Small cells are needed for deploying 5G as opposed to earlier generations such as 4G, because of the frequency. The higher the frequency, the lower the wavelength, which means that the distance they travel is less.
- Small cells are low-powered radio access nodes or base stations that have a coverage range from a few metres up to a few hundred metres. They are portable, easy to deploy and help provide localised coverage.
- As per the TRAI paper, small cells provide coverage for very short distances and therefore they are installed in a large number — even more than 200 per square kilometre — for good geographical coverage to provide highly reliable and high-capacity broadband.