The surging adoption of data-guzzling mobile application is drastically augmented owing to the rising use of smartphones and tablets. This is leading to significant demand for network capacity. Today, end-users demand high-speed wireless connectivity anywhere and anytime. The telecom operators face a spectrum crunch, leading to network traffic and the establishment of advanced technology and LTE would not be able to resolve the problem.
A low-powered radio-active miniature telecom base station, extending to a very limited range is called as small cell. The small cell market confines of microcells, picocells, femtocells, and consists of indoor and outdoor systems. With small cell base stations closer to mobile users, it offers high data performance, better voice quality, and improved battery life. They are generally utilized in compacted urban areas like sports venues, train stations, shopping centers, and sports venues. Most of the small cells are deployed outdoor where a tremendous amount of data is used at the same time.
The proliferating mobile data traffic is augmenting the demand for small cell market. The 3G and 4G technology play a vital role in the development of the market. The increased usage of mobile data propels the installation of LTE network thus, the demand for backhaul equipment for data transformation from vendors is on rising. However, delay in setting up LTE ecosystems in major emerging countries is limiting the growth of the overall small cell market. The market is evolving steadily with significant opportunities that are explained below.
Top opportunities of the global small cell market
Exponential traffic growth
The increasing utilization of smartphones and tablets has introduced varied data-consuming application leading to data traffic congestion. It is forecasted that around 50 million devices will be connected by 2020 across the globe. The mobile traffic is expected to evolve at 84% of CAGR globally over the next few years. This bandwidth demand will outstrip the supply from macro network, leading to inferior customer service which will demand to increase the cost to retain the customers as fulfilling the capacity demand is complex, and the data traffic varies from locations and time.
From Network to HetNet
There are varied options through which operators deal with capacity and coverage issues such as purchasing extra spectrum that can be costly, migration of 3G user to 4G to capitalize on 4G spectral efficiency and deployment of the small cell for spatial efficiency. Small cells are the economical solution to bridge the gap amid demand and capacity. For the high quality of the network, the business case is always available and is evolving the network towards HetNet which permits capacity expansion based on actual rather than the forecast values of data traffic demand.
Small cell business case
The demand for the small cell business case is bifurcated by revenue from rising data utilization and new applications like location-based apps, and mFinance. A crucial part of the business case depends on the rising customer lifetime value and accumulation in SRC and SAC from the developed loyalty owing to superior QoE. The key to achieving significant advantages is to determine the deployment of small cell solutions and align them with the demand in the market.
Author: Komal Surana
Sr. Content Writer and Editor, Inkwood Research