5G Small Cells 2021-2031: Technologies, Markets, Forecast

  • Forecast Period: 2021-2031
  • Published On: Jul 2021
  • By:  IDTechEx

Following a period of dedicated research by our analysts specializing in 5G and semiconductors, IDTechEx published this report offering unique insights into the global 5G small cells market. The report contains a comprehensive analysis of supply chains across 5G small cells, which includes a detailed assessment of technology innovations and market dynamics. This report also provides comprehensive and detailed case studies on key vertical applications enabled by 5G small cells. Importantly, the report presents an unbiased analysis of primary data gathered via our interviews with key players, and builds on our expertise in the 5G industry.

This report delivers valuable insights for:

  • Companies that supply components and materials for 5G small cells*
  • Companies that develop 5G small cells
  • Companies that invest in the 5G infrastructures
  • Companies that develop digital solutions for industries

Why small cells are so important in the 5G era

With two new frequency bands: sub-6 GHz (3-7 GHz) and mmWave (24-48 GHz) included in 5G, 5G provides much larger bandwidth, lower latency, higher reliability, and many more connections in comparison with previous generations of mobile networks. The benefit of 5G not only accelerates the growth of mobile consumer networks but also has huge potential to revolutionize industries such as automotive, entertainment, computing, and manufacturing.

However, there are a series of challenges that need to be addressed before we can fully enjoy the benefits. One of the main challenges is the signal attenuation of high-frequency signals. This means that the signal propagation is much shorter compared to the previous cellular networks such as 3G and 4G. Small cells are proposed to address this big challenge. Creating an ultra-dense network by deploying more small cells plays a key role in 5G as it allows to complement the macro network and therefore boosts data capacity.

Small cells can be categorized into three types: femtocells, picocells, and microcells, depending on their output power. Because of their smaller size compared to macro base stations, the material choices and the overall technology trend will be different from their macroinfrastructure counterparts.

In this report, IDTechEx provides a comprehensive analysis on 5G small cells (both sub-6 GHz and mmWave) including technology benchmarking and supply chain landscape:

  • 5G small cells vendor landscape analysis
  • Supply chain and technology analysis on Radiofrequency (RF) components such as power amplifier and filters for 5G small cells
  • Choices of semiconductors for 5G small cells
  • Antenna-integrated package (AiP) solutions
  • EMI shielding
  • Thermal management for 5G small cells

5G small cells enable the intelligence of everything that will reshape our society.

As of mid-2021, the majority of 5G commercial rollouts are still focused on enhanced mobile broadband - installing 5G macro base stations to provide networks with high capacity for consumers using mobile devices. However, the new use cases such as industrial IoT 4.0, cellular vehicle to everything (C-V2X), new entertainment experiences, and smart cities, are where the real innovations are occurring and the huge market potential lies. From our research and interviews with key players in the field, 5G small cells will play a key role in supporting those industries to become fully digitalized and the potential realised.

In this report, IDTechEx provides in-depth case studies on selected verticals with huge market potential, which include:

  • 5G private networks for Industry 4.0
  • 5G for indoor/semi-indoor enterprises
  • 5G for autonomous driving and C-V2X
  • New use cases IDTechEx identify as high potential applications

5G small cells market analysis: the big market potential awaiting in front of us.

The comprehensive market analysis provides a ten-year market forecast (2021-2031) for the 5G small cells based on different types (femtocells, picocells, and microcells), different frequency (sub-6 GHz vs mmWave), different scenarios (enterprises, urban, and rural & remote), and five global regions (East Asia, North America, Europe, South Asia, and others).

Our 5G small cells market forecast builds on the extensive analysis of primary and secondary data, combined with careful consideration of market drivers, constraints, and key player activities. Our model of the 5G small cell market considers how the following variables evolve during the forecast period: the development and adoption rate of sub-6 GHz and mmWave in the 5 regions, the growth of internet of things (IoT) for broadband and critical applications, 5G rollout potentials for enterprises, urban, and rural & remote purposes, and the utilization rate of different types of small cells for each scenario.

This report also includes comprehensive company profiles for key global players from infrastructure suppliers to telecommunication operators.