Infonetics sees over-crowded small cell vendor community

Everyone in the wireless industry is talking about small cells as the next big thing, and they may very well represent a technology trend that changes how network operators manage network congestion. That is why so many vendors are trying to figure out an angle on small cells and how to capitalize on the trend.

Infonetics notes that the number of small cell units sold (including microcells, picocells, eNodeBs and public access femtocells) is set to increase nearly 40-fold from 2011 to 2016. The research firm also expects global small cell revenue to grow at a 73 percent compound annual growth rate from 2011 to 2016.

However, market research firm Infonetics Research says there may not be room for everybody who is interested in profiting from this change in the market. In the firm's latest "Small Cell Equipment" forecast, Stephane Teral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research, says that high unit volume will not necessarily be enough to support all the vendors in the space.

This particularly will be the case as carriers have to confront the challenges of deploying large numbers of small cells, such as how to provide enough backhaul for them and how to solve any interference issues, Teral says.

What this chiefly means is that vendor competition in the small cell sector is about to intensify. It also should serve as a warning for vendors that have been eyeing the small cell market but do not have their stories in order yet. If you are not too far along yet and are having trouble trying to outline how different your solution is from the approaches of other vendors, you might want to stay home.

For more:
- read the Infonetics release

Related articles:
Sprint and Ericsson reportedly are discussing a small cell deal
Both small cells and Wi-Fi offload may be needed to address congestion

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