ABI Research’s latest forecast for outdoor small cells indicates a healthy 2014 growth in equipment revenue at a year-on-year rate of 33% to $1.8 billion. This growth comes thanks to operators like AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Telefonica, Softbank, SK Telecom, and Sprint driving shipments of both outdoor and Metrocell deployments.
“As mobile network operators implement small cell outdoor networks, several success factors emerge as critical for a successful deployment,” says Nick Marshall, principal analyst at ABI Research. “We see multiple solutions for backhaul, power, permitting, and siting employed by the operator community throughout the rest of 2014 and which will increase small cell momentum in 2015.”
In 2014, 4G small cells are the fastest growing small cell type in the market driven by venue and dense urban deployments. ABI Research forecasts the number of LTE small cells to grow by 2X in 2014 and by a similar factor each year through 2019 where the value of LTE small cells will reach more than half of a $10 billion equipment market.
The Asia-Pacific region, given its large size and 4G deployments in South Korea and Japan and the start of commercial TD-LTE operations in China and India will grow to represent over 50% of the worldwide small cell equipment market by 2019.
The recent Mobile World Congress served to highlight the growing small cell momentum with small cell related announcements from a who’s who of ecosystem vendors including NSN, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, NEC, ip.access, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Freescale, Broadcom, and Cavium. Our roundup of the news from MWC 2014 can be found in our whitepaper here.
ABI Research’s forecasts, which outline these trends, are published as part of our Small Cells and Carrier Wi-Fi Research Service.