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Small Cell 5G Network Market: Information by Component (Solution, Services), Deployment Mode (Outdoor, Indoor), End-User (Telecom Operator, Enterprises), and Region — Forecast till 2029

Market Snapshot
Study Period:
Base Year:
Fastest Growing Market:
North America
Largest Market:
North America
4.3 %
Key Players
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

Nokia Corporation

ZTE Corporation

Fujitsu Limited

CommScope Inc.

Small cells are low-power, short-range wireless transmission systems that provide network coverage over small geographical areas. These are small base stations that can be mounted on walls, small towers, or lamp posts. The backhaul connections are made with fiber, wired, and microwave connections.

Telecommunications providers across the world are set to utilize small cell technology to roll out 5G coverage. Small cells can handle high data rates for mobile broadband and consumers. Small cell 5G networks provide ultra-high speeds, a million devices per square mile, and latencies in the millisecond range. Small cells are highly beneficial as compared to conventional cells using advanced techniques like MIMO, beamforming, and millimeter waves for transmission. These miniature cells are designed to reduce complexity and foster easy implementation.

Impact of COVID-19

There is a surge in the implementation of industrial automation across the e-commerce sector. Countries such as Italy, the U.K., and Germany have postponed their 5G rollout plans because of the pandemic. Rising cases in the Middle East and South American nations have negatively impacted investment activities, including smart city infrastructure and industrial automation. As nations are slowly lifting the lockdowns and moving towards COVID-19 prevention protocols, manufacturing and production facilities are resuming operations. Increasing demand and efficiency of automated technologies will strike an upward growth in the small cell 5G network market in the near future.

Soaring Mobile Data Traffic: A Key Market Driver

Increasing penetration of consumer electronics, such as smartphones and tablets, along with surging disposable income in the emerging economies, drives the market growth. The mobile data traffic across the world has significantly surged since the advent of the internet. 5G networks are expected to carry nearly one-third of the global mobile data traffic in the next few years. This will again increment the demand for a technically advanced telecommunications network.

Countries such as the U.S., China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, key countries in the telecom market, that are significantly investing in 5G infrastructure, and cloud computing 5G driving the growth of the market. U.S. network operators such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are currently testing their 5G technologies hoping for the commercial launches planned by the end of 2020. China and India are also heavily investing in the R&D of 5G. China is making 5G investments since 2015 at the national level through the three state-owned mobile operators, China Unicom, China Mobile, and China Telecom.

IoT Proliferation: A Key Market Driver

IoT applications are already connecting millions of smart devices of the modern world, creating a massive machine communication infrastructure. With an aim to further expand the massive IoT infrastructure, traditional mobile networks have to be enhanced or upgraded. Therefore, companies must adopt internet and sensor-enabled advanced technologies to realize IoT strategies.

Telit is a London-based Internet of Things and Machine to Machine communications company and a global leader in IoT enablement that offers enterprise-grade modules, connectivity, software, and platforms to empower the 5G ecosystem. The company also provides expert advice to manufacturers and operators of mobile infrastructure.  

Low Backhaul Connectivity: A Key Market Restraint

Mobile operators have to deal with 5G networks, including ultralow latency connectivity requirements. Deployment of small cells at high rate network congestion places with low coverage is hindering the market growth. Radio backhaul with reduced unit size and throughput testing is considered to be one of the potential solutions for this issue. However, it increases the installation cost, creates a significant barrier for the proper deployment and working of small cells, and weakens the service delivery process. Other challenges faced by the small cell 5G network providers include identification of the millions of necessary locations, acquiring permits for identified locations, and operational costs to lease, deploy, and maintain sites. Thus, officials are deploying denser small cells, Wi-Fi, and next-generation satellites to tackle the backhaul connectivity and other problems.

5G to Provide Lucrative Market Growth Opportunities in the Upcoming Years

Increasing deployment rate of 5G technologies in Asia and the U.S. and high speeds and low latencies of 5G networks are opening new doors for the global penetration of small cells 5G network market. Innovations such as the Next-generation wireless networks will minimize mobile traffic. China is implementing 5G technologies for various life-transforming applications, such as 3D video, immersive media, and audio quality. The country is planning to reach over 500 million 5G connections by 2025. The small cell 5G network is anticipated to gain rapid traction, owing to its ultra-high data rates, enhanced capacity, and reduced latency. It provides increased data capacity and assists providers in reducing costs by eliminating rooftop systems. It also improves the performance of mobile handsets and operates at low power, substantially increasing cell phone battery life

Small Cell 5G Network Market: Segmentation

Features Femtocells to Drive Its Popularity Due across the End-Users

Increasing demand for femtocells, owing to its unified bandwidth coverage for several enclosed applications, such as malls, offices, and hospitals, drives the market growth. Femtocells, picocells, and microcells are small cells with different ranges up to 50 meters, 250 meters, and 3 Kilometres. Pico cells cover a large population, delivering high-speed internet capacity in places such as stadiums and halls. Microcells provide seamless connectivity to consumers in remote or rural areas. Therefore, telecom service providers are expected to invest more on microcells, which will eventually lead to the growth of Femtocells, picocells, and microcells during the forecast period.

Indoor Deployment Mode Segment to Witness Substantial Growth

The indoor segment holds the largest market share of about 80%. Reliable deployment of next-generation small cells across several residential and non-residential areas, such as enterprises, retail malls, airports, and hospitals, drives the segment adoption. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently stated that rising number of people devoting their working hours in the indoor premises which will be further accelerated by the current COVID-19 scenario.

Outdoor small cells are also expected to gain immense popularity due to their easy installations in suburban, urban, or rural areas. Growing trends of Internet of Things (IoT), vehicles to infrastructure (V2I), and Industry 4.0 are creating demand for high-speed data networks.

Enterprise Segment to Hold 60% of the Market Share

The enterprise segment dominates the market, with a share of nearly 60%. Growing deployment of small cell 5G networks across large as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and rising demand for data capacity and requirement of broad coverage within affordable costs drive the segment growth. Small cell 5G networks enhance the organizations' existing broadband infrastructure. Demand for unified data connectivity with low latency will project the installation of small cell 5G network for industrial as well as residential applications in the coming years

Regional Overview


Efforts by Key Players to Drive North America's Market Growth

North America holds the largest share in the small cell 5G network market during the forecast period. The presence of eminent leaders and early adoption of advanced technologies in the region drives market growth. North American telecom providers are expected to deploy small cell solutions on their 5G mobile infrastructures. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are commercializing 5G networks and have entered into partnerships and collaborations with network equipment providers, such as Nokia, Samsung, and Ericsson, to build up their 5G network bases.

Key Players

Recent Developments

  • In July 2019, Swisscom partnered with Ericsson to deploy small cells in Switzerland for indoor applications
  • In September 2019, Ericsson, the Swedish Telecommunications company, entered into an agreement with South Korea's KT Corporation to deploy its small indoor cell for providing 5G connectivity to enterprises

Small Cell 5G Network Market: Segmentation

By Component

  • Solution
  • Services

By Deployment Mode

  • Outdoor
  • Indoor

By End-User

  • Telecom Operators
  • Enterprises

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Increasing demand and efficiency of automated technologies, increasing penetration of consumer electronics, increasing deployment rate of 5G technologies are the key factors expected to drive Small Cell 5G Network Market during the forecast period.
Nokia Corporation, ZTE Corporation, Fujitsu Limited, CommScope Inc., Altiostar, Airspan Networks, Ceragon, Contela are the top players in Small Cell 5G Network Market.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share in Small Cell 5G Network Market.
Enterprise Segment is expected to be the leading segment in Small Cell 5G Network Market during the forecast period.
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