Small Cells, DAS & Het-Nets

U.S. Indoor Small Cells Forecast, 2017-2022: Connecting the building

Indoor small cells will be a big part of mobile operators’ networks even though they have mostly stopped paying for them. As a whole, the industry is focused on 5G – a key part of which is densification.

Small cells run the gamut from Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), Distributed Radio Systems (DRS), picocells (enterprise small cells) and femtocells (residential small cells). The body of this report will provide definitions for each of these terms.

iGR classifies any system as “indoor” or “in-building” when the majority of its nodes (sites where the antennas are placed) are inside a building. iGR puts stadiums in the “indoor” category, along with hotels and airports to name a few.

In this market study, iGR provides a forecast for the:

  • Total addressable market (TAM) for indoor small cells.
  • Actual installed small cell nodes and installed systems. A system is, simply, the “head end” into which multiple operators plug their BTSes. In the case of a picocell, femtocell or DNS, iGR counts each of those as one system (since they currently only support a single mobile operator).


Key Questions Answered

  • What does indoor mean?
  • What are indoor small cells?
  • Where do small cells fit in the network?
  • What are some of the perceived benefits and issues related to indoor small cells?
  • What are the key drivers for using indoor small cells?
  • What are some of the perceived negatives and issues related to indoor small cells?
  • What are the key barriers to indoor small cell adoption?
  • How large is the total addressable market for indoor small cells?
  • How many indoor small cells are expected to be deployed?

Who Should Read

  • Mobile operators
  • Infrastructure OEMs
  • Small cell product and solution vendors
  • Backhaul service providers and equipment OEMs
  • Financial analysts and investors.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
  • Methodology
  • Basic Mobile Operator Network Architecture
    • Devices
    • MIMO
    • Massive MIMO
    • Wireless Spectrum
    • Cell Sites
    • Fronthaul & Backhaul
    • Mobile Network Core
  • Setting the Stage for Small Cells
    • Network “Pain Points”
    • Different Types of Small Cells
    • iGR’s Definitions of Small Cells
    • Hybrid Antenna System
    • DAS/Small Cell Architecture
    • Distributed Radio System
    • Neutral-Host DAS vs. Single Host DAS
    • Changing Nature of DAS
    • Signal Boosters
    • Femtocells and Picocells
    • Metrocells
    • Remote Radio Heads
    • Difference Between RRHs and oDAS
    • Difference between RRHs and Metrocells
    • Multi-band Small Cells
    • Location, Location, Location
  • Indoor Small Cells: Awareness, Pros and Cons
    • Enterprise Small Cell Awareness
    • Benefits of Deploying In-Building Small Cells
    • Cons of Deploying In-Building Small Cells
    • Advantages Provided by DAS
    • Challenges with DAS Deployments
  • Commercial Buildings in the U.S.
  • Housing in the U.S.
  • Assumptions: Indoor Small Cells
  • Indoor Small Cell Total Addressable Market Forecast
    • Methodology
    • Indoor Small Cell Total Addressable Market
    • TAM: Residential Only
    • TAM: Commercial Buildings Only
  • U.S. Indoor Small Cells: Actual Installs
    • Indoor Small Cell Nodes in Residential
    • Installed Small Cell Nodes in Commercial Buildings
  • Indoor Small Cell Vendor Profiles
    • Advanced RF Technologies, Inc. (ADRF)
    • Airspan Networks
    • Argela
    • Bandwidth Logic
    • Betacom Incorporated
    • Black Box Network Services
    • BTI Wireless
    • C Squared Systems (C2 Systems)
    • Cisco
    • Cobham Wireless
    • Comba Telecom
    • CommScope
    • Connectivity Wireless Solutions
    • Corning
    • Crown Castle
    • Dali Wireless
    • Ericsson
    • ExteNet Systems
    • Fujitsu Network Communications
    • Galtronics
    • Gemtek
    • Huawei
    • iBwave Solutions (Corning)
    • ip.access
    • Juni
    • NEC
    • Nextivity
    • Nokia Networks
    • Oracle
    • Quortus
    • Samsung Electronics
    • Sercomm
    • SOLiD
    • Solutelia
    • SpiderCloud Wireless (Corning)
    • SureCall
    • Westell Technologies
    • Whoop Wireless
    • Wilson Electronics
    • Zinwave
    • ZTE Corporation
  • Definitions
    • General
    • Device Types
    • Services
    • Network Technology
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Different Types of Small Cells, Licensed and Unlicensed Spectrum
  • Table 2: Benefits of Neutral-Host DAS
  • Table 3: Awareness of Enterprise Small Cell Solutions
  • Table 4: Interest in Enterprise Small Cell Solutions
  • Table 5: Advantages of DAS
  • Table 6: Challenges of DAS
  • Table 7: Commercial Buildings in the U.S.
  • Table 8: Commercial Buildings in the U.S.
  • Table 9: Commercial Buildings in the U.S.
  • Table 10: Number of Floors per Commercial Building
  • Table 11: Predominant Roof Material
  • Table 12: Predominant Exterior Wall Material
  • Table 13: Windows and Interior Lighting Features
  • Table 14: Number of Housing Units by Units in Structure, U.S.
  • Table 15: Housing Units by Number of Floors, U.S.
  • Table 16: Square Footage of Occupied Housing Units, AHS
  • Table 17: All Building Types Indoor Small Cell TAM, 2017-2022
  • Table 18: Residential TAM, 2017-2022
  • Table 19: Commercial Building Only TAM, 2017-2022
  • Table 20: Installed Indoor Small Cell Forecast, 2017-2022
  • Table 21: Installed Small Cell Nodes in Residential, 2017-2022
  • Table 22: Installed Small Cell Nodes in Commercial Buildings, 2017-2022
  • Table 23: In-Building Small Cell Systems Commercial Buildings, 2017-2022
  • Table 24: Residential Small Cell Systems, 2017-2022

List of Charts and Figures

  • Figure A: Indoor Small Cell Node Forecast TAM and Actuals, 2017-2022
  • Figure 1: Basic Components of Cellular Voice/Data Network
  • Figure 2: Cell Site Backhaul Capabilities and Use Cases, Wired and Wireless
  • Figure 3: Overview of the EPC
  • Figure 4: Het-Net Overview
  • Figure 5: Basic DAS Configuration
  • Figure 6: DAS, BTS Hotels, and Remote Radio Heads
  • Figure 7: Types of DAS
  • Figure 8: 3GPP Approaches to Network Sharing
  • Figure 9: Awareness of Enterprise Small Cell Solutions
  • Figure 10: Interest in Enterprise Small Cell Solutions
  • Figure 11: Commercial Buildings in the U.S.
  • Figure 12: Buildings in the U.S.
  • Figure 13: Number of Floors per Commercial Building
  • Figure 14: Predominant Roof Material
  • Figure 15: Predominant Exterior Wall Material
  • Figure 16: Windows and Interior Lighting Features
  • Figure 17: Number of Housing Units by Units in Structure, U.S.
  • Figure 18: Housing Units by Number of Floors, U.S.
  • Figure 19: Square Footage of Occupied Housing Units, AHS
  • Figure 20: All Building Types In-Building Small Cell TAM, 2017-2022
  • Figure 21: Residential TAM, 2017-2022
  • Figure 22: Commercial Building Only TAM, 2017-2022
  • Figure 23: Installed Indoor Small Cell Nodes Forecast, 2017-2022
  • Figure 24: Installed Small Cell Nodes in Residential, 2017-2022
  • Figure 25: Installed Small Cell Nodes in Commercial Buildings, 2017-2022
  • Figure 26: Small Cell Systems in Commercial Buildings, 2017-2022
  • Figure 27: Residential Small Cell Systems, 2017-2022

For additional information on the U.S. Indoor Small Cells Forecast, 2017-2022: Connecting the building market study, please contact Iain Gillott, at (512) 263-5682 or by email.