A new IDTechEx forecast predicts that the overall number of 5G small cells will reach 45 million by 2031— but cautions there are a series of challenges that need to be addressed first.
According to “5G Small Cells 2021-2031: Technologies, Markets, Forecast,” as of mid-2021, the majority of the 5G commercial rollouts are still focused on enhanced mobile broadband — i.e., installing 5G macro base stations to provide networks with high capacity for consumers using mobile devices. However, the new use cases such as industrial IoT 4.0, cellular vehicle to everything (C-V2X), new entertainment experiences, and smart cities, are where the real innovations are occurring and the huge market potential lies.
The forecast predicts 5G small cells will play an essential role in supporting those industries to become fully digitalized and the potential realized. One of the main challenges the forecast foresees is the signal attenuation of high-frequency signals — meaning that the signal propagation is much shorter compared to the previous cellular networks such as 3G and 4G. Small cells are proposed to address this big challenge. Creating an ultra-dense network by deploying more small cells plays a key role in 5G as it allows it to complement the macro network and therefore boosts data capacity.
Small cells can be categorized into three types: femtocells, picocells, and microcells, depending on their output power. Because of their smaller size compared to macro base stations, the material choices and the overall technology trend will be different from their macro infrastructure counterparts.
This forecast builds on the extensive analysis of primary and secondary data, combined with careful consideration of market drivers, constraints, and key player activities. The analysis considers how the following variables evolve during the forecast period: the development and adoption rate of sub-6 GHz and mmWave in the 5 regions, the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) for broadband and critical applications, 5G rollout potentials for enterprises, urban, and rural & remote purposes, and the utilization rate of different types of small cells for each scenario.
The forecast also presents an unbiased analysis of primary data gathered via interviews with key players, and it builds on IDTechEx’s expertise in the 5G industry. This includes a comprehensive analysis of the supply chain across 5G small cells, which incorporates a detailed assessment of technology innovations and market dynamics. Moreover, the reader will find in-depth case studies on selected verticals that IDTechEx predicts to have huge market potential such as Industry 4.0 and C-V2X.
This market report offers insights into the global 5G small cells market for: companies that supply materials and components for 5G small cells; companies that develop 5G small cells; companies that invest in the 5G infrastructures; companies that plan to step into 5G small cell business; and companies that develop digital solutions for industries.
For more information on this report, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/5GSmallCells, or for the full portfolio of 5G research available from IDTechEx please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research/5G.