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Small Cell In 5G

in 5G, 5G New Radio, 5G NR, IOT, Small Cell. Blog, Femtocell

As the need and dependency on wireless network is increasing, a stronger and faster network is required to cater to the demands of millions. The 5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before. There are 5 technologies that emerge as the foundation of 5G. One of them is the “Small Cells Technology”.

Small cells are low power, short range wireless transmission systems (base stations) to cover a small geographical area or indoor / outdoor applications. However, small cells have all the basic characteristics of a conventional base stations and it is capable of handling high data rate for individual users.

Why 5G requires small cells?

Mobile broadband enhanced : high speed mobile broadband connection up to few gigabytes per second rate.

Ultra reliable and low latency network: a smart network with less than 1 millisecond latency and ultra reliability for mission critical applications.

Massive IoT: Internet of Things will connect huge number (millions or billions) of devices and smart sensors for massive machine communication and several applications in smart home, healthcare.

Mission Critical: to support mission critical services that requires low latency and highly reliable network.

Small cells classification : 

5G Cell Types


No of user

Power Range

Coverage Distance


Indoor (primarily for indoor application, can be used for outdoor applications)

8 to 16 users

Typically 10-100 milliwatts

10 meters to 50 meters (indoors)



Indoor applications (offices, hospitals, shopping centre and schools)

32 to 64 users

Typically 100-250 milliwatts

100 meters to 250 meters (indoors)



Outdoor applications

up to 200 simultaneous users

2 to 5 watts

500 meters to 2.5 kilometers

Advantages of small cells

·         Small cells can deliver higher data rate up to few gigabit per second

·         Less complex solutions, can be easily implemented

·         Cost effective

·         Faster deployments

·         Location requirements are minimum (convenient to deploy indoors and outdoors).


Since 5G technology is a future framework to support various applications, it has to meet all necessary specifications. Small cell concept is a perfect solution to deliver enhanced mobile broadband, low latency and reliable service to users. Higher order modulation techniques, MIMO technology and millimeter wave spectrum will ensure proper functioning of future small cell deployments.

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