Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.3 percent, capital expenditures on microwave backhaul equipment for mobile networks will reach almost $5 billion in 2012 as mobile network operators upgrade and transition to more cost effective packet microwave systems. The Asia Pacific and Western European regions will continue to dominate the market for microwave equipment with a combined share of 61 percent in 2017.
ABI Research’s latest forecasts for Enterprise and Consumer Femtocells, also referred to as Indoor Small Cells, estimate largely flat volume shipments in 2012 relative to 2011. The shipments in 2012 are expected to contain 2.44 million units, similar to the 2.47 million units shipped in 2011. In total, ABI Research estimates 5.3 million units will be deployed by end 2012.
A jump in cable and satellite set-top box shipments in Asia-Pacific markets is being driven by cable digitization in India and China, as well as China’s rollout of digital satellite boxes to its rural households. “Digital transitions are bringing consumers access to hundreds of international channels and a few HD services for the first time.
Global revenue for carrier Wi-Fi access points and controllers will reach $2.2 billion in 2017 to reach a level equivalent to almost one-half of the traditional enterprise or consumer/SoHo Wi-Fi segments in the same period.
Revenues for core semiconductor components used in mobile handsets, including platform ICs and wireless connectivity ICs, are expected to reach almost $37 billion per annum in 2012. The market has seen strong growth from 2009 as the smartphone market has increased significantly, driving growth for many components, including applications processors and Wi-Fi ICs.
The cellular M2M market will rise from about 110 million cumulative connections globally in 2011 to roughly 453 million cumulative connections by 2017. Nevertheless, a key challenge for the industry remains the complexity of developing, deploying, and managing M2M applications over the cellular network.
ABI Research has determined that the cellular handset market shipped 353.5 million handsets in Q1 2012 which represents a -3.8% YoY and -16.5% sequential drop in shipments. The smartphone market delivered 142 million shipments in Q1 for a 38% YoY gain and a -8.1% sequential decline. Apple’s 35.1 million shipments were supported by APAC while Samsung’s 83.4 million displaced Nokia from the top position that it has held for over a decade.
The market for RFID transponders, readers, software, and services will generate $70.5 billion from 2012 to the end of 2017. The market was boosted by a growth of $900 million in 2011 and the market is expected to grow 20% YOY per annum. Government, retail, and transportation and logistics have been identified as the most valuable sectors, accounting for 60% of accumulated revenue over the next five years.
Global capital expenditure weakened in 4Q2011 for many mobile operators as they trimmed their budgets for the remainder of 2011. However confidence is returning in the first half of 2012 as operators start to switch over from LTE trial to commercial service in a number of markets. “Mobile capital expenditure is forecasted to grow 9% to US$111.1 billion in 2012, supported by renewed investment in radio access network (RAN) infrastructure and in-building wireless access,” says Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting.