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The HetNet Ecosystem (Small Cells, Carrier Wi-Fi, C-RAN & DAS): 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts

  • June 2017
  • SNS Telecom
Report ID: 3007368

Summary

Table of Contents

Driven by the growing demand for in-building wireless coverage and the huge influx of mobile data traffic, conventional macrocells alone are no longer deemed sufficient to handle the needs of today's wireless subscribers. In addition, the imminent adoption of centimeter and millimeter wave spectrum, to support higher data rates in 5G networks, necessitates the usage of much smaller cell sizes.

To cope with growing capacity and coverage requirements, mobile operators are significantly increasing their investments in a variety of Heterogeneous Network or HetNet infrastructure technologies such as strategically deployed small cells, carrier Wi-Fi and DAS (Distributed Antenna System) networks. Adding further to the heterogeneity is the shift towards C-RAN (Centralized RAN) architecture, where centralized baseband functionality is shared across a large number of distributed radio nodes to deliver benefits such as resource pooling, multi-cell coordination, network extensibility and energy efficiency.

SNS Research estimates that global investments on small cells, carrier Wi-Fi, C-RAN and DAS will reach more than $15 Billion by the end of 2017, as mobile operators remain committed to tackle the continued growth of mobile data traffic and evolving coverage requirements. At present, the HetNet market is facing a paradigm shift with multiple advancements ranging from small cell virtualization and neutral hosting to the adoption of unlicensed and shared spectrum. In conjunction with 5G and LTE Advanced network rollouts, these advancements will fuel the market to grow at a CAGR of over 18% between 2017 and 2020.

The “HetNet Ecosystem (Small Cells, Carrier Wi-Fi, C-RAN & DAS): 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts” report presents an in-depth assessment of the HetNet ecosystem including enabling technologies, key trends, market drivers, challenges, standardization, regulatory landscape, deployment models, use cases, vertical markets, service provider case studies, opportunities, future roadmap, value chain, ecosystem player profiles and strategies. The report also presents forecasts for HetNet infrastructure investments from 2017 till 2030. The forecasts cover 6 individual submarkets and 6 regions.

The report comes with an associated Excel datasheet suite covering quantitative data from all numeric forecasts presented in the report.

Topics Covered
The report covers the following topics:
- HetNet ecosystem
- Market drivers and barriers
- Enabling technologies and key architectural components for small cells, carrier Wi-Fi, C-RAN and DAS
- Integration, offloading and SON (Self-Organizing Network) technologies
- Key trends including RAN disaggregation; small cell virtualization; unlicensed and shared spectrum usage; and neutral hosting
- Complementary technologies and concepts including millimeter wave radio access; MEC (Mobile Edge Computing); FWA (Fixed Wireless Access); control and user plane separation; and network slicing
- Small cell backhaul and C-RAN fronthaul technologies
- HetNet use cases and deployment models including SCaaS (Small Cells-as-a-Service)
- Enterprise RAN; rural small cells; and tactical small cells for military and public safety applications
- Over 30 case studies of service provider HetNet deployments
- Regulatory landscape and standardization
- Industry roadmap and value chain
- Profiles and strategies of over 500 leading ecosystem players
- Strategic recommendations for HetNet infrastructure vendors and mobile operators
- Market analysis and forecasts from 2017 till 2030

Forecast Segmentation
Market forecasts are provided for each of the following submarkets and their subcategories:
Small Cells
Air Interface Technology Segmentation
- 2G & 3G
- LTE
- 5G NR (New Radio)

Deployment Model Segmentation
- Indoor
- Outdoor

RAN Architecture Segmentation
- Standalone
- C-RAN

Use Case Segmentation
- Residential
- Enterprise
- Urban
- Rural & Suburban

Cell Size Segmentation
- Femtocells
- Picocells
- Microcells

Small Cell Backhaul
Technology Segmentation
- DSL
- Ethernet
- Microwave
- Millimeter Wave
- Satellite
- Fiber & Others

Carrier Wi-Fi
Submarket Segmentation
- Access Points
- Access Point Controllers

Integration Approach Segmentation
- Standalone Wi-Fi Hotspots
- Managed Wi-Fi Offload

C-RAN
Air Interface Technology Segmentation
- 3G & LTE
- 5G NR

Deployment Model Segmentation
- Indoor
- Outdoor

Cell Size Segmentation
- Small Cells
- Macrocells

Submarket Segmentation
- BBUs (Baseband Units)
- RRHs (Remote Radio Heads)

C-RAN Fronthaul
Technology Segmentation
- Dedicated Fiber
- WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing)
- OTN (Optical Transport Network)
- PON (Passive Optical Network)
- Ethernet
- Microwave
- Millimeter Wave
- G.Fast & Others

DAS
Deployment Model Segmentation
- Indoor
- Outdoor

Regional Markets
- Asia Pacific
- Eastern Europe
- Latin & Central America
- Middle East & Africa
- North America
- Western Europe

Key Questions Answered
The report provides answers to the following key questions:
- How big is the HetNet opportunity?
- What trends, challenges and barriers are influencing its growth?
- How is the ecosystem evolving by segment and region?
- What will the market size be in 2020 and at what rate will it grow?
- Which submarkets will see the highest percentage of growth?
- How can HetNet infrastructure investments improve wireless coverage and alleviate congestion in mobile operator networks?
- Can virtualized small cells reduce the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of HetNet deployments?
- How are mobile operators leveraging small cells to deliver cost-effective wireless coverage in rural areas?
- What is the commercial status of unlicensed and shared spectrum technologies?
- How are small cell, DAS and Wi-Fi specialists addressing requirements for multi-operator neutral host networks?
- What are the prospects of microwave and millimeter wave transport networking platforms for small cell backhaul and C-RAN fronthaul?
- Will mobile operators adopt WiGig and other non-3GPP technologies to complement 5G network rollouts?
- Who are the key market players, what is their market share and what are their strategies?
- What strategies should HetNet infrastructure vendors and mobile operators adopt to remain competitive?

Key Findings
The report has the following key findings:
- SNS Research estimates that global investments on small cells, carrier Wi-Fi, C-RAN and DAS will reach more than $15 Billion by the end of 2017, as mobile operators remain committed to tackle the continued growth of mobile data traffic and evolving coverage requirements.
- At present, the HetNet market is facing a paradigm shift with multiple advancements ranging from small cell virtualization and neutral hosting to the adoption of unlicensed and shared spectrum.
- In conjunction with 5G and LTE Advanced network rollouts, these advancements will fuel the market to grow at a CAGR of over 18% between 2017 and 2020.
- By virtualizing small cells, mobile operators can immediately evaluate the benefits of RAN virtualization with no major impact on their larger macrocell RAN footprint. SNS research estimates that global spending on virtualized small cells will surpass $1 Billion annually by 2020.
- Unlicensed and shared spectrum small cells are also beginning to gain traction, with shipment revenues potentially reaching $240 Million by the end of 2020.
- The vendor arena is continuing to consolidate with several prominent M&A deals such as CCI's (Communication Components, Inc.) acquisition of BLiNQ Networks and Mavenir's merger with Ranzure Networks.

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