There is a vague idea that mobile operators can use small cells in heterogeneous networks as a way to make revenue. Let’s discuss why this will only be a very small revenue stream.
A monetized small cell in a small way fits one of the profiles that Intel is developing. Intel believes that RAN congestion can be largely alleviated at a small cell. It is Intel’s contention that somewhere on the order of 20-40% of traffic is predictable.
Let’s assume that you are at a basketball game. The game is hotly contested and the winning team makes a last second shot to win the game. It is a fair bet that for the 30 minutes after the game that the majority of people that attended the game would like to download a replay of the shot. With memory and an advanced algorithm that could recognize web searches, the whole video loop could be pushed back to the end-use device without having to go through the macro network. Small cells within 10km of the arena could be programmed to do this. Perhaps advertisements could be embedded with the same content cache.
Mind Commerce does not see a small cell monetization scenario until at least 2015.