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In this paper we will compare the cost & capacity performance of femtocell and macrocellular networks. The motivation is the possibility to use femtocells as complement or as replacement of wide area networks and hence to save investments in macrocell networks. In this study the femtocells thus are used as a tool for operators to reduce network costs for mobile broadband. This represents another business case than the often presented cases with focus on improved indoor coverage in homes with focus on voice services. Our techno-economic analysis is made as a comparative case study where capacity and cost is analyzed for wireless broadband deployed in a newly built office area with high user density. In addition to wall penetration losses we take into account; the level of user demand, the density of existing macro base station sites, the recent improvements in cost and spectral efficiency for radio access technologies, and the use of wider system bandwidths. The main finding of the study is that femtocell solutions, for the considered demand levels, are more cost efficient when new macro base station sites need to be deployed, otherwise macrocell solutions are more cost-efficient.
Date of Conference: 26-30 Sept. 2010