Wireless infrastructure spending on heterogeneous network (HetNet) technologies will reach $42 billion by 2020, according to a new research report.
The forecast from SNS Research includes spending on small cells, carrier Wi-Fi, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and Cloud RAN, which concentrates the processing of the radio access network in one or more centralized data centers.
When comparing small cells to Cloud RAN, Joe Madden, principal analyst at Mobile Experts, has predicted that most operators--aside from Asian operators with access to cheap fiber--will turn to small cell architecture for the common deployments. However, they may consider Cloud RAN for special situations such as a stadium with very high density.
In many cases, however, stadiums are being served by DAS deployments, which are often rolled out along with Wi-Fi gear. Vendor commitments and special event and in-building coverage requirements are helping move the DAS market forward in the United States, which accounts for 95 percent of North American DAS infrastructure revenue, SNS said.
The North American DAS infrastructure market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 11 percent over the next five years and account for nearly $4 billion in total revenue, the firm said.
SNS' new report also predicts small cells and carrier Wi-Fi deployments will account for nearly $352 billion in mobile data service revenues by the end of 2020.
The growing focus on HetNets is being driven by in-building wireless coverage requirements and expanding mobile data traffic, which traditional macrocell-based deployments have trouble addressing, said SNS.
- see this SNS release
Special report: AT&T, Verizon and others ride the DAS wave
Madden: Consumer femtocell shipments have stalled at around 2M per year
Ericsson CEO says Wi-Fi will be standard small cell feature
Madden: Cloud RAN or small cells?