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In the last few years, small-cell technology has moved from the realm of academic research to large commercial networks with millions of deployed units. This paper discusses the challenges in deploying and maintaining a large-scale residential small-cell network. The paper first discusses the need for residential small cells to provide ubiquitous coverage in homes located in poor coverage areas of the conventional macrocell, and then describes the architectures of current and next-generation residential small-cell networks, and how these large networks are effectively provisioned and managed. The paper is air interface agnostic and is based on the experience of the authors in commercial deployment of both UMTS and CDMA2000 femtocell networks.