Small-cell opportunities, strategies and forecasts to 2016
Published: June 2012
The market for small cells is expected to grow by over 100% per annum over the next five years, driven primarily by the consumer market, but also increasingly by operator-deployed small cells such as microcells, picocells and metrocells. Metrocells in particular will see high levels of growth, commencing in 2013 and extending throughout the forecast period, driven by the lack of spectrum and capacity constraints for 3G and LTE networks.
Julian Bright, Senior Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media
Informa Telecoms & Media’s new report Small-cell opportunities, strategies and forecasts to 2016 includes analysis of the market for small cells, the results of an industry-wide survey into small-cell perceptions and challenges, and global, regional and country forecasts for microcell, picocell and metrocell shipments for the forecast period to end-2016.
Small cells, in the form of microcells and picocells, have been widely used by operators for some time to boost capacity in urban areas, provide rural coverage, and extend services into large public areas such as shopping malls, airports and railway stations. More recently, larger-scale femtocell deployments targeting the consumer market have helped to stimulate interest in small cells.
As concern about traffic growth, network capacity and spectrum availability becomes a major preoccupation for operators, so small cells are increasingly seen as playing a key role in creating new network architectures to address these challenges, to the point where many operators are seriously evaluating small-cell technologies and infrastructure vendors are building their offerings around small-cell solutions.
“Small cell” has now become an umbrella term covering a much wider focus, including femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells. Whereas consumer femtocells have driven volume growth in the small-cell market, vendor revenues are expected to be greater from small cells deployed and managed by an operator, with metrocell deployments in particular showing high levels of growth in the forecast period.
Regional market variations mean that the rate of adoption of small cells will vary between those markets where the traditional macrocell model continues to hold sway and those where small-cell uptake, often driven by early femtocell adoption, proceeds more rapidly.
All major regions:
Asia Pacific (developed and developing)
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