It has been demonstrated that base station cooperation can reduce co-channel interference (CCI) and increase cellular system capacity. In this work we consider another approach by dividing the system into microcells through denser base station deployment. We adopt the criterion to maximize the minimum spectral efficiency of served users with a certain user outage constraint. In a two-dimensional hexagon array with homogeneous microcell structure, under the proposed propagation model denser base station deployment outperforms suboptimal cooperation schemes (zero-forcing) when the density increases beyond 3 - 12 base stations per km2, the exact value depending on the rules of outage user selection. However, close-to-optimal cooperation schemes (zero-forcing with dirty-paper-coding) are always superior to denser deployment. Performance of a hierarchial cellular structure mixed with both macrocells and microcells is also evaluated.