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Small cell market to get bigger slice by 2018

Posted: 03 Jan 2013  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:small cell market  distributed antenna system  Wi-Fi 

According to the latest data from ABI Research, public venue small cells are expected to grow with a CAGR of 67 per cent to $3.1 billion in 2018. The public venue small cell category is a subset of the existing enterprise small cell segment, and will represent half of the segment in the same year, added the market research firm.

"With the rapid growth in mobile traffic and data demand shifting to low mobility locations—the majority of them indoors—mobile operators are closing the gap between capacity and demand with solutions ranging from the traditional active and passive distributed antenna systems (DAS) to Carrier Wi-Fi, and this emerging category of public venue small cells," according to Nick Marshall, principal analyst, mobile networks, ABI Research.

Deploying, installing and operating small cells in public venues involves different considerations than street-level small cell deployments. Backhaul, power supply and increased scale, with dozens or even hundreds of small cells in a densely packed network need to be handled. Also, unlike street-level deployments, public venue small cells face different interference challenges, dealing with higher interference between the small cells, rather than the surrounding macro.

"Public venue small cells deployed by mobile network operators offer access directly where it is needed at a lower cost than macrocells or DAS systems and will improve the QoS at a lower TCO than other methods of extending open access to public areas," noted Marshall.

There are a range of vendors playing in this market from existing femtocell vendors such as Ubiquisys, Alcatel-Lucent, or ip.access offering specialised public venue small cells, through to purpose built systems from SpiderCloud, or even "amenity based" curated Wi-Fi networks from Devicescape.





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