Small Cells, DAS & Het-Nets

U.S. Indoor Small Cells Forecast, 2017-2022: The Building as the Edge

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), DAS Lite, picocells (enterprise small cells, femtocells (residential small cells), and cellular signal boosters. 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).

Note that CBRS is not included in these forecasts. The CBRS landscape is still in flux as of this writing (June 2018), and key rules may be changed or none may be changed at all. iGR has modeled the potential impact of CBRS in a standalone report (which will be updated when the new rules are issued).


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 is the impact of MEC and proptech on indoor small cell deployments?
  • 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
    • Wireless Spectrum
    • Cell Sites
    • The Different Types of Haul
  • Setting the Stage for Small Cells
    • Network “Pain Points”
    • Different Types of Small Cells
    • Hybrid Antenna System
    • DAS/Small Cell Architecture
    • Neutral-Host DAS vs. Single Host DAS
    • Changing Nature of DAS
  • Pros and Cons of In-building Small Cells
    • Benefits of Deploying In-Building Small Cells
    • Cons of Deploying In-Building Small Cells
    • Advantages Provided by DAS
    • Challenges with DAS Deployments
  • Related Topics: MEC, CBRS and Proptech
    • MEC
    • CBRS
    • Proptech
  • 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
    • Installed Small Cell Nodes in Residential
    • Installed Small Cell Nodes in Commercial Buildings
    • Installed Small Cell Systems
  • Indoor Small Cell Vendor Profiles
    • Advanced RF Technologies, Inc. (ADRF)
    • Accelleran
    • Airspan Networks
    • Bandwidth Logic
    • Betacom Incorporated
    • BTI Wireless
    • C Squared Systems (C2 Systems)
    • Cobham Wireless
    • Comba Telecom
    • CommScope
    • Connectivity Wireless Solutions
    • Corning
    • Crown Castle
    • Dali Wireless
    • Druid Software
    • Ericsson
    • ExteNet Systems
    • Galtronics
    • Gemtek
    • Huawei
    • iBwave Solutions (Corning)
    • ip.access
    • JMA Wireless
    • Juni
    • Kathrein
    • Microlab (Wireless Telecom Group)
    • NEC
    • Nextivity
    • Nokia Networks
    • Oracle
    • Quortus
    • Samsung Electronics
    • Sercomm
    • SOLiD
    • Solutelia
    • SpiderCloud Wireless (Corning Optical Communications)
    • SureCall
    • Westell Technologies
    • Whoop Wireless
    • Wilson Electronics
    • Zinwave
    • ZTE Corporation
  • Definitions
  • 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: Advantages of DAS
  • Table 4: Challenges of DAS
  • Table 5: Commercial Buildings in the U.S.
  • Table 6: Commercial Buildings in the U.S.
  • Table 7: Commercial Buildings in the U.S.
  • Table 8: Number of Floors per Commercial Building
  • Table 9: Predominant Roof Material
  • Table 10: Predominant Exterior Wall Material
  • Table 11: Windows and Interior Lighting Features
  • Table 12: Number of Housing Units by Units in Structure, U.S.
  • Table 13: Structures by Number of Floors, U.S.
  • Table 14: Square Footage of Housing Units, AHS
  • Table 15: All Building Types Indoor Small Cell TAM, 2017-2022
  • Table 16: Residential TAM, 2017-2022
  • Table 17: Commercial Building Only TAM, 2017-2022
  • Table 18: Installed Indoor Small Cell Forecast, 2017-2022
  • Table 19: Installed Small Cell Nodes in Residential, 2017-2022
  • Table 20: Installed Small Cell Nodes in Commercial Buildings, 2017-2022
  • Table 21: In-Building Small Cell Systems Commercial Buildings, 2017-2022
  • Table 22: Residential Small Cell Systems, 2017-2022
  • Definitions Table

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: Basic DAS Configuration
  • Figure 4: DAS, BTS Hotels, and Remote Radio Heads
  • Figure 5: Types of DAS
  • Figure 6: 3GPP Approaches to Network Sharing
  • Figure 7: Commercial Buildings in the U.S.
  • Figure 8: Buildings in the U.S.
  • Figure 9: Number of Floors per Commercial Building
  • Figure 10: Predominant Roof Material
  • Figure 11: Predominant Exterior Wall Material
  • Figure 12: Windows and Interior Lighting Features
  • Figure 13: Number of Housing Units by Units in Structure, U.S.
  • Figure 14: Housing Units by Number of Floors, U.S.
  • Figure 15: Square Footage of Housing Units, AHS
  • Figure 16: All Building Types In-Building Small Cell TAM, 2017-2022
  • Figure 17: Residential TAM, 2017-2022
  • Figure 18: Commercial Building Only TAM, 2017-2022
  • Figure 19: Installed Indoor Small Cell Nodes Forecast, 2017-2022
  • Figure 20: Installed Small Cell Nodes in Residential, 2017-2022
  • Figure 21: Installed Small Cell Nodes in Commercial Buildings, 2017-2022
  • Figure 22: Small Cell Systems in Commercial Buildings, 2017-2022
  • Figure 23: Residential Small Cell Systems, 2017-2022

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