Mobile Wi-Fi, optical net markets continue to grow
To accommodate smartphone growth, the market for small base stations is expected to grow at a 33 per cent annual rate from 2012 to 2016.
Small cells have become necessary to keep up with a flood of data from smartphones, growing from an installed base of 1.1 billion at the end of 2012 to 2.7 billion at the end of 2016. The small cell market includes a variety of technologies, including femtocells, picocells, microcells, Wi-Fi and their corresponding backhaul systems.
A small cell's lower power allows more units to be placed near each other without interference. Small cells work where macro cells would face blind spots, they can be placed closer to users so they are more likely to realize peak transmission rates and in theory they can be installed in under an hour compared to 12-18 months for a macro cell.
In the third quarter of 2012, the service provider Wi-Fi market grew 96 per cent year-over-year to $87 million, the fastest growing part of wireless LAN infrastructure equipment market, we found. Service providers are using Wi-Fi to reduce the strain on mobile cellular networks, extend wireless coverage and improve customer loyalty.
The segment includes two types of equipment: indoor enterprise-class equipment (the vast majority of units) and outdoor mesh nodes. However, nearly half of third quarter revenues came from outdoor equipment is due to its higher selling prices.
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