Small cell market ramping up, will reach $2.7B by 2017

Infonetics: Small Cell chartWidespread deployment of small cells this year, driven by a need for 4G capacity upgrades, will prompt the still diminutive small cell market to reach a value of $2.7 billion by 2017, according to a new study from Infonetics Research, which also predicts 4G small cell shipments will overtake 3G shipments by the end of 2013. South Korea's SK Telecom has deployed close to 40,000 small cells and is the leading adopter of 4G public access femtocells to date, said Infonetics, which tapped Asia Pacific to lead the small cell market in 2013 with 50 percent of all units shipped. Europe, the Middle East and Africa will account for 34 percent of small cell shipments, followed by North America with 14 percent. AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless in the U.S., Vodafone in Europe, LG U+ in South Korea and NTT DoCoMo in Japan have all announced major small cell plans. "As operators formulate their plans for small cell rollouts, one of the key decisions will be how tightly to integrate Wi-Fi," said Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave and carrier Wi-Fi at Infonetics. For more on the report, see this Infonetics release.