ACG Research

ACG Research
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Monday, June 8, 2015

Worldwide Small Cell Market to Grow Five-fold by 2019

Medium and large enterprises will boost the small cell market indoor residential coverage, with the total small cell market expected to surpass $1 billion by 2019

The Worldwide Small Cell market grew to $134.1 million, up 2.1 percent Q-Q and up 17.5 percent Y-Y. The market was primarily driven by the high demand for better indoor coverage. Small cells are not only used to offload traffic but also for backhauling and to substitute macro networks plugging the gap between capacity and demand for data. Residential and femtocells continue to be the key drivers of the current market growth; however, new multi-operator solutions with advanced SON features and interference avoidance are expected to have a tremendous positive impact to the market.

The growth in small cell market is expected to accelerate as operators realize that small cells are an increasingly cost-effective technology to add capacity while at the same time improve cell edge performance and increase the value of the spectrum they currently hold. Plug-n-play products equipped with advanced features and the latest 802.11ac WiFi and LTE technology will also add demand pressure.

“This quarter has yet again seen many indoor deployments, which will continue to grow but are expected to shift to enterprise and public access venues in the coming years. This shift will generate new business opportunities and sources of revenue for MNOs,” states Elias Aravantinos, principal analyst, ACG. “The ongoing hype around small cells is expected to end by 2016. High data demanding LTE networks and lack of spectrum in the macro layer will force the investment and deployment of a large volume of small cells to boost backhaul, access applications and new services. In the near future the demand of Gbyte levels at the small cell layer toward 5G adoption is expected to boost deployments and significantly affect operators’ spending. Finally, the market is expected to grow at least fivefold by 2019.”

  • LTE connections worldwide increase 150%, growing the demand for high-speed connectivity indoor and outdoor
  • 3G and LTE multimode small cells will continue to be on demand
  • Integrating WiFi network with small and macro cells will enable operators to monetize WiFi
  • The market is expected to grow because of increasing mobile data access pressure and increasing LTE subs
  • Enterprise environment should enable MNOs to generate new sources of revenues
  • Traditional microwave and potentially satellite are the top technologies for small cell backhaul applications
Click for more information about Elias Aravantinos.


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