Small Cells Featured Article
iGR Study Predicts US Total Addressable Market for Small Cells to Grow with Mobile Demand
February 06, 2013
By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer
According to a new study from iGR entitled "U.S. Small Cells Total Addressable Market, 2012 - 2017: Sizing a Growing Opportunity," mobile network operators will need to pursue a multipronged approach to upgrading and backfilling in order to meet the rising demand for capacity and throughput on their voice/data networks.
This approach, typically called the heterogeneous network, or “het-net,” combines a number of elements, including RAN upgrades, new licensed spectrum, Wi-Fi, small cells and DAS.
This study — comprised of three recent studies involving 3G and 4G LTE (News - Alert) metrocells, residential femtocells, and enterprise picocells — includes forecasts for the theoretical maximum size of the market for each small cell type, as well as example deployments, business and market drivers, and profiles of companies that participate in the small cell market.
Metrocells are, according to iGR, low power cell sites used to boost coverage and/or capacity in a specific area and can offer 3G or 4G coverage, or both simultaneously. Residential femtocells, meanwhile, help operators improve cellular voice quality. Lastly, picocells are defined as larger femtocells that is meant to be deployed in a business or small venue.
Another recent iGR study states that the total addressable market for enterprise picocells in the U.S. alone will reach nearly $9 million by 2017.
"By 2016, iGR expects the average consumer's consumption of mobile data in the U.S. to increase by ten times over the level in 2011. The mobile networks must adapt to this vastly increased demand and we see small cells as an important part of the solution," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, in a statement. "This new study shows that the total addressable market for residential femtocells, picocells and metrocells is significant but also that the opportunity for the different types of cells grow at different rates."
iGR predicts that by 2017, there will be 7.5 billion wireless connections worldwide.
Edited by Braden Becker
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