IDTechEx say 5G not only greatly improves network experiences for mobile consumers, but more importantly, will bring digitalisation into every industry, revolutionising our society. However, this vision will not be realised without small cell development.
IDTechEx have released “5G Small Cells 2021-2031: Technologies, Markets, Forecast”, a market research and business intelligence report exploring the key technical and industry factors that are shaping the fast-growing small cell market.
So, why do small cells play such a key role in the 5G era?
With two new frequency bands, sub-6 GHz (3–7 GHz) and mmWave (24–48 GHz), included in 5G, 5G provides much larger bandwidth, lower latency, higher reliability, and many more connections in comparison with previous generations of mobile networks. The benefit of 5G not only accelerates the growth of mobile consumer networks but also has huge potential to revolutionise industries such as automotive, entertainment, computing, and manufacturing.
However, IDTechEx say there are a series of challenges that need to be addressed before we can fully enjoy the benefits. One of the main challenges is the signal attenuation of high-frequency signals. This means 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.
IDTechEx believe that small cells can be categorised 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.
IDTechEx continue, as of mid-2021, the majority of the 5G commercial rollouts are still focused on enhanced mobile broadband – 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. 5G small cells will play an essential role in supporting those industries to become fully digitalised and the potential realised.
IDTechEx say, in the report, “5G Small Cells 2021-2031: Technologies, Markets, Forecast”, it forecasts that the overall number of 5G small cells will reach 45 million by 2031.
IDTechEx say, 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 utilisation rate of different types of small cells for each scenario.
IDTechEx conclude, in addition to the forecast, “5G Small Cells 2021-2031: Technologies, Markets, Forecast” presents an unbiased analysis of primary data gathered via interviews with key players, and it builds on it’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, IDTechEx say 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.