Small cells provide improved cellular experience in congested urban areas and in areas just outside the cell phone tower or even in areas that have absolutely zero cell phone reception. In most cases only AT&T & Verizon offer small cells that can be added to a Distributed antenna system however T-mobile and Sprint are currently working on small cell solutions but have not come out with proper solutions for adding on to a DAS system.
There are three types of small cells: femtocells, picocells and microcells.
Microcells are the largest and most powerful small cell. They are usually installed outdoors on traffic lights or signs, and can be used temporarily for large events. Microcells have a range of under two kilometers, whereas macrocell towers can cover up to 20 miles. Both microcells and picocells are usually installed by network operators.
Femtocells have the shortest range of small-cell types, and are usually deployed in homes or small businesses. These router-like devices are installed by clients and can accommodate coverage for just a few users at a time. Femtocells generally have a maximum range of less than 10 meters.
Picocells are usually installed in larger indoor areas like shopping malls, offices or train stations. They can support up to 100 users at a time and have a range of under 200 meters.
What are Small Cells?