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Industry News / Small/Pico/Femto Cells Channel

Small cell semiconductors: 0 to $500 M in 5 years

November 5, 2012
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A new forecast predicts dramatic growth in the semiconductor market supporting small cells, from $90 million in 2012 to more than $650 million in 2017. In particular, semiconductors supporting carrier-grade small cells (excluding consumer and enterprise femtocells) will ramp from practically zero revenue in 2012 to a staggering $500 million in 2017.

"Multi-band, Multi-mode, higher power, and MIMO requirements will actually make the semiconductor market grow faster than the small cell market itself," explained Joe Madden, principal analyst at Mobile Experts. "Mobile operators that install a carrier-grade small cell will be looking for coverage in multiple bands and modes, so the semiconductor dollar content in each picocell and metrocell will increase over time."

"For the past three years, we have forecasted that the market will shift from consumer femtocells to a new class of carrier-grade small cells. This forecast confirms our previous guidance, and dives one level deeper to illuminate the semiconductor parts necessary to make it all work. The shift in focus will be even more dramatic at the chip level. In fact, where 90 percent of the small-cell semiconductor market in 2012 is devoted to consumer femtocells, by 2017 the consumer femtocell contribution will be 15% or possibly less." 

The report, Semiconductors for Small Cells, which includesmore than 73 charts and exhibits, can be found at

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