Thursday 28 March 2013

More than 5 Million Metrocells to be shipped in 2017

From the Microwave Journal:
Mobile Experts has released a new Small Cell Market Forecast, predicting more than 5 million metrocells shipped in 2017.
Based on weak shipment data during 2012, Mobile Experts predicts slow growth for residential femtocells, at only 12 percent per year. Faster growth will come from capacity upgrades, as mobile operators are pushing hard for high-capacity small cells. The new Mobile Experts forecast predicts that, taken together, outdoor metrocells and indoor capacity nodes will overtake residential femtocell shipments in the 2016 time frame.
"The Asia-Pacific market has led the way in small cells, with more than 100,000 public small cells already deployed in Korea and Japan," explained Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts. "The Asian market is stretching the femtocell into areas where the small cells are handling capacity effectively for operators like KT, SKT, and NTT DoCoMo. Many other operators around the world will follow this example, as the LTE macro roll-out is completed and capacity tightens up in North America, China, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. The bottom line is that small cells are 65 percent less expensive than macro base stations, for adding mobile capacity."
This forecast identifies eight different types of small cells, by architecture and by power level. In this year's analysis, Mobile Experts included low-power Remote Radio Head units, multi-band small cells, and Carrier Aggregation into the forecast, with 33 band combinations identified for inter-band CA. The report breaks down small cell shipments by frequency band and identified 38 frequency bands for small cell deployment.
Complete article can be accessed here.

I have to admit that this is a very optimistic forecast on the number of Metrocells. An earlier post that listed the forecasts from Informa suggested that the number of Metrocells deployed by 2016 would be around 681,000.

The Small Cells Analyst Forecast that I posted on the 3G4G blog, did list a similar forecast from Mobile experts though. The picture above lists the differentiation in Small Cells as viewed by Mobile experts and has been obtained from here.


  1. To clarify, I am not predicting 5 million outdoor metrocells. I am predicting shipment of 5 million public access small cells...and most of them will be indoors.

    For more details, contact us at

    Joe Madden