The Benefits and Challenges of Deploying 5G Small Cells on the HFC Strand Network

Cable / Multiple System Operators (MSOs) offering mobile phone services are some of the fastest growing mobile service providers in the US Market. The MSOs are buying spare capacity from existing mobile operators to serve their subscribers, which labels them Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). These MSOs have a key advantage over other mobile operators in that they can now utilize new technology to leverage their existing hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network to overlay a 5G mobile network. They can now use those frequency licenses and their HFC network to surgically target areas to build out their own mobile network that will coexist with the network capacity that they are buying from existing mobile operators to make them a Hybrid Mobile Network Operator (HMNO).

Strand-mounted 5G small cell radio can be deployed directly on the HFC aerial strand available in many cities in the United States. Attaching this small cell radio to the existing HFC network solves some of the biggest problems a mobile network operator faces when deploying a new greenfield network.

This paper will give the reader an understanding of what needs to be considered as part of designing a 5G wireless network using strand-mounted small cells. It is the goal of this paper to provide a comprehensive guide for the MSOs to refer to as they move forward into expanding their respective convergence portfolios to include MVNO data offload with a strand small cell HMNO network.


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