Small Cell Market Opportunity Part 2: Femto-, Micro-, and Picocells


Small cells are an important addition to the existing macrocell-based mobile network. With increased end-user reliance on mobile communications, mobile operators are looking at small cells as a way to help with coverage and capacity. At the same time, however, the addition of small cells to the macro network brings challenges that mobile operators haven’t had to previously deal with.


Mobile operators are uncertain about using different base station vendors for small cells and macrocells.

The small cell market remains difficult to define. Subdividing the market based on small cell applications, rather than technology, provides the best method for market segmentation.

Growth in mobile data traffic has driven interest in the metro cell market. But challenges relating to spectrum, interference, and technical issues in the actual deployment could limit how many metro cells are actually deployed.

Features and Benefits

  • Provides market segmentation for the different base station solutions found under the small cell umbrella.

  • Provides both market drivers and challenges facing the small cell market.

  • Gives insights into how different vendors are approaching the small cell market.

Key Questions Answered

  • How are different vendors approaching the small cell market?

  • What will drive the deployment of metro cells?

  • What may hinder the growth of the metro cell market?

  • What are mobile operators’ current views towards using multiple vendors in their heterogeneous networks?

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