Wednesday, August 10, 2011

ABI Research Predicts Booming Picocell Market

ABI Research is predicting rapid expansion of the outdoor picocell market, growing from its early stages of development to reach $8 billion in global revenues by 2016. Several companies, including Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Bel-Air, Airspan, and NEC, have announced trial deployments with mobile operators. Other vendors working on developing solutions include NSN, Ericsson, and ZTE.


These outdoor picocells, which plug onto utility poles, lamp posts, and rooftops, are in response to the burgeoning smartphone market.


"Mobile operators have already started to compete on mobile broadband speeds apart from coverage, and small cells will help them differentiate their services," says Aditya Kaul, practice director, mobile networks. "Operators are likely to start with identifying specific ‘hot sites' in congested metro areas, and start using outdoor picocells to alleviate capacity demand. Outdoor small cells are just another tool operators can use in conjunction with macro network optimization, Wi-Fi offload, caching, media compression, and other techniques.

Metro areas aren't the only places where small cells are expected to appear. "Apart from outdoor small cells having a role in urban areas, they also have a role in rural and suburban areas where zoning restrictions prevent macro tower deployments," says Kaul. http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1006138

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