As the demand for data capacity and connectivity continues to climb, network operators must find a way to densify networks while minimizing additional costs. Neutral host networks (NHNs) provide a viable solution, allowing multiple mobile network operators (MNOs) to share infrastructure for improved coverage, capacity, and economic efficiency. In an NHN, a POI serves as the place where various MNO signal sources, such as small cells and remote radio heads (RRHs), are interfaced with the signal distribution network. When choosing a POI solution, network designers must consider its ability to dynamically address changes, such as adding MNOs after network commissioning and upgrading to newly allocated cellular bands. This article will explore essential POI capabilities that can aid NHN designers in deploying future-proof, cost-efficient shared network infrastructure.
Many NHN deployments rely upon MNOs signing up as tenants of the network, with required contracts sometimes taking years to settle. It means the network often needs to be commissioned before every contract is finalized. Therefore, a POI solution must accommodate the MNOs that join at first and enable new MNOs to be added after agreements are completed. Fixed/non-upgradeable solutions lack the flexibility needed to add new tenants efficiently, significantly increasing expenses through costly redesign and replacement of network infrastructure.
Newly allocated licensed and shared frequency bands will play a central role in delivering next-generation wireless services. Upcoming allocations of mid-band spectrum, for example, strike the desired balance between capacity and coverage to enable the successful implementation and performance standards of 5G networks. Deployed NHN infrastructure without a means to accommodate new spectrum service bands will fail to capitalize on essential coverage and capacity benefits, leading to a substantial rise in costs for necessary network upgrades. Networks commissioned using a POI solution with deployment flexibility ensure the field-upgradability needed to address current and future network requirements.
The Microlab Modular Carrier Combiner (MCC) platform is a relied upon POI solution that delivers superior flexibility and scalability vital to the success of any neutral host deployment strategy. Providing seamless modular expansion, networks can be commissioned with just the facilitating MNO. New tenants can quickly join the NHN with the simple addition of the dedicated cards. The Microlab MCC platform also provides network designers with a straightforward path to utilize the improvements of new band allocations, ensuring streamlined, future-proof network infrastructure. Supporting various NHN configurations, the Microlab MCC platform is available with a rackmount chassis or a compact, wall-mount chassis that saves valuable space in tight IDF closets. Ultimately, the versatility of the POI solution from Microlab enables network designers to overcome complex NHN deployment challenges and obtain optimal performance and wireless coverage. Learn more about the Microlab MCC platform.