Outdoor small cells market to reach $14.3 billion by 2017

Telecom Lead America: The outdoor small cell market
that consists of outdoor femtocells, picocells, microcells, and carrier Wi-Fi
access points is expected to reach $14.3 billion by 2017.

These outdoor small cells will surpass 954,000 macrocells
in 2012, reaching over 1 million units in 2012.

It is expected that outdoor small cell units will grow at
53.8 percent CAGR to reach 9.3 million units by 2017.

The fastest growing small cell class is the outdoor
femtocells, with output power less than 1 Watt, which will grow at 81.5 percent
CAGR to reach 1.5 million units and $5.4 billion by 2017.

  We believe that outdoor small cells have
distinctly different characteristics, including the need for carrier grade
software, wider temperature ranges, and more sophisticated RF from indoor
consumer and enterprise femtocells and we are now forecasting these separately
from indoor residential and enterprise units,” said Nick Marshall, principal
analyst at ABI Research.

In addition to the outdoor fetmocells, the emerging
carrier integrated Wi-Fi class of small cells is expected to grow at 60 percent
CAGR to reach 6.8 million units and $1.7 billion in 2017.

Femtocell and carrier Wi-Fi small cell classes will make
up 50 percent of the revenue and 89 percent of the units in 2017. The remaining
50 percent of the revenue and 11 percent of the units in 2017 are represented
by the more expensive pico- and microcell classes.

ABI Research suggests that the industry will need to deal
with some challenges including backhaul provision, interference mitigation,
network management, policy integration, and roaming.

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