Small Cell Forum today revealed the results of independent research which point to a sharp uptake in Enterprise small cell deployments and a growing appetite among businesses to adopt the technology.
Research from Enterprise specialists Nemertes revealed that 60 per cent of 500 Enterprises surveyed across 17 sectors expect to have deployed small cell technology by the end of next year; while the latest independent market shipment forecast by analysts Mobile Experts shows the number of Enterprise small cells shipped to double during 2016, with a sales growth spike of 270 per cent forecast for this year.
Mobile Experts forecast Enterprise small cell shipments will rise to be worth $4 billion annually by 2020.
Taken together, the research results highlight a major and growing market opportunity for operators to sell business services and solutions based on small cell deployments.
Small Cell Forum Chair Alan Law said: “The results are in and the evidence is clear. There is a growing market for operators, a real appetite among businesses, and an opportunity for new services and solutions that can be enabled through small cell deployment.
“It is also clear,” he added, that as an industry, we have to continue to deliver the innovation to realise the potential of this market. We will need multi-operator small cells, we will need to integrate licence exempt technologies, and we will need to simplify deployment. Small Cell Forum Release Six: Smart Enterprise, published this week in Barcelona, includes significant moves across all those areas,” said Law.
“Our research clearly indicates Enterprises want high-quality mobile capabilities, whether indoors in offices or on the road,” says Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research. “Improving the quality of mobile voice and data is crucial to that goal, leading many to deploy small cells and learn more about the benefits of the technology.”
The data released by Small Cell Forum this week showed:
Â· Some 60 per cent of companies surveyed expect to deploy small cells by end 2017
Â· 13.3m small cells now deployed
Â· More than 3m small cells shipped in 2015 alone
Â· Non-residential small cells accounted for almost 40 per cent of last quarter shipments
Â· Small cell revenues topped $1bn for the first time in 2015
Â· Non-residential small cells represented 65 per cent of revenues
Â· Enterprise small cell shipments more than doubled in the year with forecast growth of 270 per cent in 2016
Â· In building coverage â€“ for voice and data â€“ fuels Enterprise demand
Â· 94 per cent of businesses said poor in-building coverage impacted their operations
Â· Improved security and location services highlighted as small cell opportunity
The Enterprise market offers tremendous opportunities for operators,â€ Law explained. â€œBut it has to be about more than just coverage and capacity if it is to drive significant revenues â€“ it has to be about new services and solutions as well. Small cells are ideally placed to be the key enabler that unlocks that potential.â€
As well as publishing both the Nemertes and Mobile Experts research at the Mobile World Congress, SCF will also issue its Release Six: Smart Enterprise â€“ a comprehensive set of deployment stories, documents and tools which focus on releasing the potential of the Enterprise market by providing technical, practical and commercial guidance and support.