Microwave Journal

Global In-building Wireless Systems to Show 20 Percent Annual Growth Rate

February 15, 2007

Customer’s dependence on wireless communications and their adoption of high bandwidth 3G cellular services are the primary drivers of the global growth for in-building wireless systems that extend and create wireless coverage indoors. According to a new study from ABI Research, deployments of these systems are expected to result in revenues in excess of $3.6 B by 2011.


Says ABI Research analyst Dan Shey, “People spend a significant amount of time indoors and, not surprisingly, they also expect indoor access from their outdoor wireless service. But indoor coverage does not just satisfy a need for service convenience; it is also used to improve business productivity.” As a result, commercial buildings will be a major focus of the in-building wireless systems industry, affecting carriers, businesses, building owners, equipment manufacturers and solution providers.

Deployments and revenues of in-building wireless systems will be dominated by distributed antenna systems, commanding over 60 percent of the deployments and over 75 percent of the equipment revenues. These systems are most economical for buildings larger than 100,000 square feet, a size where coverage and signal level capacity from outdoor networks into buildings begin to fall significantly.

For buildings smaller than 100,000 square feet, repeaters are the primary solution; however, repeater shipment growth will slow, due to replacement by picocells and femtocells. According to Shey, “Repeaters are a cost-effective way to provide coverage inside buildings but they do not add capacity, which will be needed as 3G services usage increases. New picocells and femtocells, which can be backhauled via an IP connection are a cost-effective way to add capacity and coverage.”

ABI Research’s study, “In-Building Wireless Systems: Worldwide Deployment Scenarios for Active, Passive and Distributed Antenna Systems, Repeaters, Picocells and Femtocells,” provides a comprehensive view of the global in-building wireless systems industry. It examines in-building wireless systems based on the value chain, building size and type; and system type, component, cost and functional capabilities. The analysis is complemented by worldwide forecasts for in-building wireless deployments, revenues, penetration and unit shipments for five global regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Rest of World. The study forms part of the firm’s Wireless Infrastructure Research Service, which includes Research Reports, Research Briefs, Market Data, On-line Data Bases, ABI Insights, the ABI Vendor Matrix and analyst inquiry support.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations supporting annual research programs, intelligence services and market reports in broadband and multimedia, RFID and contactless, M2M, wireless connectivity, mobile wireless, transportation and emerging technologies.