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Global small cell deployments pass 10 million – report

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According to a report by the Small Cell Forum (SCF) the number of small cells shipped and deployed globally has passed 10 million. The operator-led industry association claimed this shows the increasing importance of small cells to telcos, and said deployments are set to accelerate over the next 12 months.

The report, carried out by Mobile Experts, found that over 75 operators across the world are using small cells, with 17,000 rural and remote location deployments.

“With careful cross-checking of industry sources, we’ve been able to verify that 10.2million small cells have now been shipped globally, with over ten million now deployed,” said Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts. “The majority of these to date have been deployed in residential scenarios, but we have also seen a significant step upward in the enterprise and urban sectors. Our longstanding prediction that non-residential small cells will ramp up in 2015 is becoming a reality, as capacity and indoor coverage are now critical for operators.”

Regionally, with over a million North America had the largest number of shipments in 2014, while Europe had the second largest number at over 400,000.

Small cell deployments

Graph source: the Small Cell Forum and Mobile Expert small cell Report

“This significant milestone shows how small cells are fast becoming key components in networks with over ten million units now in the market,” said Alan Law, Chair of Small Cell Forum. “This is being backed up by what we saw recently at Mobile World Congress with an incredible variety of announcements from operators, vendors and partners all pointing to a maturing market for a really exciting technology.”

The 140-member SCF focuses on driving small cell adoption, and has set up a ‘release program’ under which it aims to establish and publish business cases and market drivers for all the main small cell use cases. The latest release titled Rural and Remote was announced at the MWC 2015.


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