Feature Article

September 17, 2013

Wi-Fi Enabled LTE Small Cell Gateways Market to Grow

With the growing popularity of 4G LTE networks, investments in this sector are rising substantially quarter by quarter. Concurrently, the penetration of embedded Wi-Fi capability in consumer electronic devices, both fixed and mobile, is on the rise. As a result, a number of wireless carriers are showing significant interest in Wi-Fi enabled LTE gateways. According to ReportsnReports, the Wi-Fi enabled LTE small cell gateway (or base station) is an emerging network element, which has an LTE interface towards the carrier network and a Wi-Fi interface towards the end user device. Per the market watcher’s study, a vast majority of these base station deployments are likely to be in a small cell configuration.

Reports compiled by ReportsnReports have been packaged into an offering titled “The Wi-Fi Enabled LTE Small Cell Gateway Forecasts: 2013 2020,” which shows that the installed base of Wi-Fi enabled LTE small cell gateways will account for nearly 15 million units by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 122 percent between 2013 and 2020. The compilation of research indicates that this growth will be driven by driven by infrastructure vendor commitments and demands from the wireless carrier community.

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According to the report, this forecast is also segmented to show regional submarkets like Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin & Central America, Middle East & Africa, North America and Western Europe.

Concurrently, ReportsnReports is also distributing a related report that focuses on small cells and carrier Wi-Fi opportunities driven by in-building wireless coverage requirements and the growing influx of mobile broadband data traffic. A traditional macrocell-based cellular network deployment is not believed to be a sufficient solution to address the coverage and capacity needs of today’s wireless subscribers.

Consequently, the study shows that wireless carriers are exploring options to offload additional coverage and capacity to alternatives such as strategically deployed small cells and Wi-Fi access points, which have so far been deployed by more than 150 global wireless carriers. Adding further to the heterogeneity are alternative deployment models such as Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and the emerging Cloud Radio Access Networks (RAN) architecture which concentrates the processing of the RAN segment of a mobile network in one or more centralized data centers.

Based on this growing ecosystem, the market watcher is expecting small cells and carrier Wi-Fi deployments to account for nearly $352 billion in mobile data service revenues by the end of 2020, while overall spending on HetNet infrastructure is expected to reach $42 billion annually during the same period.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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