Latest figures herald shift in small cell market. Revenues and deployments move towards business and urban small cells.
London and Barcelona 23 February, 2016: The latest figures from Small Cell Forum show the total small cell market reaching some 13.3 million units in 2015 with some three million units shipped in the year alone. Significantly, urban and business sales dominated small cell revenues in the year, accounting for 65 per cent of the total as the market topped $1 billion for the first time. Forecasts show that this total market figure is set to reach $2.4 billion in 2016.
The figures show that in 2015, Enterprise small cell shipments reached 400,000, more than doubling in the year, while the urban market grew nearly four-fold in 2015.
Small Cell Forum predicts that the rise of the Enterprise will continue this year with forecasted shipment growth of 270 per cent in 2016 with Enterprise revenues alone reaching $1bn. Urban shipments too will continue to rise in the coming year – by more than double – as network operators continue to densify their networks using small cells. Over the two-year period, both the Enterprise and the urban small cells markets will have experienced near ten-times growth.
Revealing the figures, Small Cell Forum Chair, Alan Law, said: “The numbers show the increasing importance of small cells to mobile usage. Whether it is operators looking to densify their networks, shopping malls looking to take advantage of mobile commerce, or businesses looking at new mobile-driven solutions, the small cell is central to the development. By 2020 these figures suggest small cells will make up around 85 per cent of network infrastructure.
“This is now a market worth more than $1 billion annually,” he added, “and the question is no longer why do we do need small cells, but how can we deploy them at pace and what services can we drive using them. It’s a major market shift that is set to continue throughout 2016.”
Although residential small cells still account for the vast majority of shipments in the year, the second six months saw the shift towards non-residential small cell really accelerate to account for almost 40 per cent of the total in the final quarter.
For the first time, non-residential small cell shipments reached almost half a million units (496,000) with North America and the Asia Pacific accounting for almost 60 per cent of the total. In Latin America, non residential small cells represented 35 per cent of the total market in the full year. Europe remains the largest market for small cells with 1.1 million units shipped in 2015.
The residential small cell market is predicted to continue to account for between 2.5 and 3 million units every year, but 2017 will see shipments of urban and Enterprise small cells overtake the residential number and close in on 6 million annual sales by 2020. By 2020 Enterprise small cell shipments alone will rise to be worth $4 billion annually.
The market status report is compiled by independent research house Mobile Experts and a summary is available to download from Small Cell Forum at www.scf.io. Joe Madden, Founder of Mobile Experts, will present findings from the report at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday 23 February at 2.30 on Small Cell Forum’s booth (Hall 7 Stand F61). A full version of the report is available free to Small Cell Forum members.
About Small Cell Forum
Small Cell Forum works to drive the wide-scale adoption of small cells and accelerate the delivery of integrated HetNets. We are not a standards organization but partner with organizations that inform and determine standards development. We are a carrier-led organization. This means our operator members establish requirements that drive the activities and outputs of our technical groups.
Today our members are driving solutions that include small cell/Wi-Fi integration, SON evolution, virtualization of the small cell layer, driving mass adoption via multi-operator neutral host, ensuring a common approach to service APIs to drive commercialisation and the integration of small cells into 5G standards evolution.
The SCF board includes Airspan, AT&T, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, ip.access, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Reliance Jio, Softbank, Spidercloud, Sprint and Vodafone.
Small Cell Forum: Kevin Taylor
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