May 17, 2016 — It is fairly common knowledge that small cells interests and deployments are further ahead in much of the rest of the civilized world. The United States is catching up, but it will take a few years before small cells will take on the momentum of places like Asia Africa, Latin America and Europe.
In the past four months, over 185,000 units have been deployed in these regions. Another interesting statistic, according to Mobile Experts, is that shipment growth in the enterprise market has increased by some 61 percent. And revenue in this ecosystem has exceeded $1 billion is a single year. Overall this non-U.S. market is expected to run a 41 percent compound AGR between now and 2020, becoming a $6 billion market in the process. By 2020, small cells will be responsible for some 85 percent of global network traffic.
These are interesting stats and aren’t all that surprising since much of the rest of the world has a much more ubiquitous wireless infrastructure than we do. This is true for several reasons, but mainly because their wired infrastructure never developed as universally as it did in the United States. Only in the last 10 or so years has the impetus to make wireless a primary communication technology here gained traction. So it stands to reason that Europe, Asia and the other have a much more omnipresent wireless umbrella.
As well, these regions also have a much less cohesive political and geographical binding. Unlike the United States. With the federal government umbrella and 50 independent states coming together as a country to deploy a wired communications infrastructure, these other areas are made up of many individual countries and trying to deploy a wired infrastructure is much more difficult. With wireless, communications between countries became as easy as within states here.
In the United States, still only about 40 percent use mobile-only phones. Worldwide that number is closer to 70 percent, for the reasons mentioned earlier.
With things like VoIP coming on line, the wired phone has been given a new breath of life. But that will change. Driven by the data storm everyone is predicting, there is much talk that landlines will simply become a backup system for many, and ditched by just as many, especially the millennials. So the wireless infrastructure will be the data infrastructure that landlines cannot do, even for enterprises.
That bodes well for small cells here in the U.S. in fact, the early signs that small cells will play a big role are starting to appear. More about this in future issues of the digest.