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Carrier-grade small cells to top consumer femtocells by 2016

Posted: 03 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:base stations? femtocells? metrocells? HetNet? Wi-Fi?

The Small Cell Market Forecast from Mobile Experts has revealed that more than five million metrocells are expected to be shipped in 2017. Based on weak shipment data last year, the market analytics firm added that slow growth is seen for residential femtocells at only 12 per cent per year. Faster growth will come from capacity upgrades, as mobile operators are pushing hard for high-capacity small cells. Taken together, Mobile Experts predicts that outdoor metrocells and indoor capacity nodes will surpass residential femtocell shipments by 2016.

"The Asia-Pacific market has led the way in small cells, with more than 100,000 public small cells already deployed in Korea and Japan," stated Joe Madden, principal analyst at Mobile Experts. "The Asian market is stretching the femtocell into areas where the small cells are handling capacity effectively for operators like KT, SKT and NTT DoCoMo. Many other operators around the world will follow this example, as the LTE macro roll-out is completed and capacity tightens up in North America, China, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. The bottom line is that small cells are 65 per cent less expensive than macro base stations, for adding mobile capacity."

Madden added: "Every spring, we compile information about the HetNet architecture and all different kinds of radio solutions: femtocells, picocells, microcells, metrocells, DAS systems, repeaters and macro base stations. This study presents our expected evolution for the HetNet, and will serve as the foundation for ongoing research into carrier Wi-Fi, backhaul for small cells, and semiconductors for small cells."

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