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Small Cells and Wi-Fi Offloading - 3rd Edition

Small Cells and Wi-Fi Offloading is the third consecutive report from Berg Insight analysing the emerging global market for small cell base stations and Wi-Fi offloading solutions. This strategic research report in the NGT Research Series from Berg Insight provides you with 160 pages of unique business intelligence, including 5-year industry forecasts and expert commentary on which to base your business decisions.

This report will allow you to:

  • Benefit from numerous executive interviews with market leading companies.
  • Comprehend how small cell technologies affect mobile networks.
  • Identify key players on the global small cell market.
  • Predict future business models for femtocell services.
  • Anticipate the timing of mass-deployments of small cell devices and services.
  • Realize the importance of integrated Wi-Fi offloading solutions.
  • Evaluate the existing Wi-Fi offloading solutions from key vendors.
  • Gain access to the latest data and forecasts about small cell shipments.

How can heterogeneous networks solve future mobile network capacity needs?

Mobile operators are experiencing fast growth in mobile data and signalling traffic as more customers adopt smartphones, tablets and PCs with mobile broadband connections. Berg Insight forecasts that the number of active smartphone users worldwide will grow from 1.2 billion at the end of 2012 to 4.0 billion at the end of 2018. Total mobile data traffic in cellular networks have more than doubled every year since 2007 and is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 50 percent from 2012 until 2018. Subscribers are also becoming more reliant on mobile phones as their primary or only device for voice communication and therefore expect ubiquitous network coverage.

In order to meet the rising demand, operators need to use a combination of approaches. These include improving the mobile macro layer by using more spectrum and increasingly advanced radio air interfaces with higher spectral efficiency, making the macro layer denser by installing more base stations in traffic hotspots, as well as introducing heterogeneous networks (HetNets). HetNets are composed of multiple radio technologies, architectures, backhaul solutions and base stations of varying transmission power. Examples of low power nodes include Remote Radio Units (RRU) and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), as well as small base stations including microcells, picocells and femtocells. Spectrum is a scarce resource and densification of the macro network gets more costly when site acquisition in metropolitan areas becomes more difficult. Spectrum reuse and deployment of multiple small cell base stations thus becomes more attractive. However, large-scale small cell deployments in public areas remain challenging since finding suitable backhaul and power can be difficult.

Several operators have already started to deploy microcells, picocells, femtocells and integrated carrier Wi-Fi network solutions. Since the introduction of 2G networks, operators have for instance deployed microcells to fill coverage holes in outdoor locations where macro cell deployments were unfeasible and DAS to enhance coverage in public indoor areas. Early femtocell deployments have also mainly focused on enhancing coverage for residential customers. Some operators have also started to use femtocells in various indoor public areas to enhance coverage and capacity. With the introduction of

Installed base of small cell base stations, million units
(World 2012-2018)

©Berg Insight AB

This report answers the following questions:

  • What is the current status of the femtocell market?
  • How will femtocell services evolve in the future?
  • What are the femtocell strategies of the leading mobile operators?
  • Which companies are active in the small cell market?
  • Which operators have introduced Wi-Fi offloading solutions?
  • How will cellular and Wi-Fi small cell technologies evolve in the future?
  • How will North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific compare in terms of small cell deployments?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Executive summary

1. Introduction to small cells and Wi-Fi offloading

  • 1.1. Introduction
    • 1.1.1. Continued growth in mobile subscriptions and handset sales
    • 1.1.2. Broadband services drive fixed-line connection growth
    • 1.1.3. Fixed-mobile convergence and fixed-mobile substitution market trends
    • 1.1.4. Global mobile data traffic grows along with increasing smartphone adoption
  • 1.2. Communication network technology evolution
    • 1.2.1. Wireless technologies
    • 1.2.2. Fixed-line broadband technologies
  • 1.3. Mobile network capacity improvement strategies
    • 1.3.1. Macro layer improvements
    • 1.3.2. Macro layer densification
    • 1.3.3. Heterogeneous networks (HetNets)
    • 1.3.4. Femtocells
    • 1.3.5. Wi-Fi network integration and mobile data offloading

2. Small cell and Wi-Fi technology

  • 2.1. Mobile network standards and architectures
    • 2.1.1. GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks
    • 2.1.2. UMTS/HSPA networks
    • 2.1.3. LTE networks
    • 2.1.4. Heterogeneous networks (HetNets)
    • 2.1.5. Microcells
    • 2.1.6. Picocells
    • 2.1.7. Femtocells
  • 2.2. Femtocell architectures in 3GPP and 3GPP2 networks
    • 2.2.1. 3GPP UMTS femtocell specifications and interfaces
    • 2.2.2. IMS based femtocell architecture
    • 2.2.3. 3GPP LTE femtocell architectures
  • 2.3. Wi-Fi and cellular network integration
    • 2.3.1. UMA/GAN
    • 2.3.2. 3GPP Wireless LAN Interworking (I-WLAN)
    • 2.3.3. Hotspot 2.0 and Next Generation Hotspot

3. Small cell deployments

  • 3.1. Small cells and femtocells from an operator perspective
    • 3.1.1. The femtocell business case for mobile operators
    • 3.1.2. Operator strategies
  • 3.2. Small cell trials and commercial offerings
    • 3.2.1. 3 Group
    • 3.2.2. AT&T
    • 3.2.3. China Unicom
    • 3.2.4. Cosmote
    • 3.2.5. EE
    • 3.2.6. KDDI au
    • 3.2.7. MegaFon
    • 3.2.8. Mobile TeleSystems
    • 3.2.9. Network Norway
    • 3.2.10. NTT DoCoMo
    • 3.2.11. Optimus
    • 3.2.12. Orange Group
    • 3.2.13. SFR
    • 3.2.14. SingTel Group
    • 3.2.15. SK Telecom
    • 3.2.16. SoftBank
    • 3.2.17. Sprint
    • 3.2.18. StarHub
    • 3.2.19. Telefónica
    • 3.2.20. Verizon Wireless
    • 3.2.21. Vodafone

4. Wi-Fi network deployments

  • 4.1. Wi-Fi network operators, aggregators and brokers
    • 4.1.1. Boingo Wireless
    • 4.1.2. Comfone
    • 4.1.3. Fon
    • 4.1.4. iPass
    • 4.1.5. Trustive
  • 4.2. Carrier Wi-Fi network deployments and services
    • 4.2.1. AT&T
    • 4.2.2. Belgacom
    • 4.2.3. China Mobile
    • 4.2.4. Chunghwa Telecom
    • 4.2.5. Deutsche Telekom
    • 4.2.6. Eircom
    • 4.2.7. FarEasTone
    • 4.2.8. Free Mobile
    • 4.2.9. KDDI au
    • 4.2.10. KPN
    • 4.2.11. KT Corporation
    • 4.2.12. LG Uplus
    • 4.2.13. Mobily
    • 4.2.14. Oi
    • 4.2.15. PCCW Group
    • 4.2.16. Swisscom
    • 4.2.17. Telefónica O2 UK
    • 4.2.18. Telenor
    • 4.2.19. TeliaSonera
    • 4.2.20. TIM Brasil
    • 4.2.21. True Group

5. Vendor profiles and strategies

  • 5.1. The small cell value chain
    • 5.1.1. Small cell chipset and software vendors introduce reference designs
    • 5.1.2. Acquisitions in the small cell ecosystem
  • 5.2. End-to-end small cell system vendors and integrators
    • 5.2.1. Alcatel-Lucent
    • 5.2.2. Cisco Systems
    • 5.2.3. Ericsson
    • 5.2.4. Fujitsu
    • 5.2.5. Hitachi
    • 5.2.6. Huawei
    • 5.2.7. NEC
    • 5.2.8. Nokia Siemens Networks
    • 5.2.9. Samsung Electronics
    • 5.2.10. ZTE
  • 5.3. Small cell and residential gateway vendors
    • 5.3.1. ADB Group
    • 5.3.2. Airspan Networks
    • 5.3.3. Airvana
    • 5.3.4. Alpha Networks
    • 5.3.5. Arcadyan Technology
    • 5.3.6. Askey Computer Corporation
    • 5.3.7. Contela
    • 5.3.8. Gemtek
    • 5.3.9. Ip.access
    • 5.3.10. Minieum Networks
    • 5.3.11. Netgear
    • 5.3.12. Public Wireless
    • 5.3.13. PureWave Networks
    • 5.3.14. Qucell
    • 5.3.15. Quortus
    • 5.3.16. Sagemcom
    • 5.3.17. SerComm
    • 5.3.18. SpiderCloud Wireless
    • 5.3.19. Tecom
    • 5.3.20. TEKTELIC Communications
    • 5.3.21. UbeeAirWalk
    • 5.3.22. ZyXEL Communications
  • 5.4. Small cell chipset vendors
    • 5.4.1. Ablaze Wireless
    • 5.4.2. Broadcom
    • 5.4.3. Cavium
    • 5.4.4. Freescale Semiconductor
    • 5.4.5. Mindspeed Technologies
    • 5.4.6. Qualcomm
    • 5.4.7. Texas Instruments
  • 5.5. Small cell software and network gateway vendors
    • 5.5.1. Acme Packet
    • 5.5.2. Aricent Group
    • 5.5.3. Genband
    • 5.5.4. mimoOn
    • 5.5.5. Node-H
    • 5.5.6. Radisys
    • 5.5.7. Stoke
    • 5.5.8. Taqua
  • 5.6. Wi-Fi data offloading solution vendors
    • 5.6.1. Accuris Networks
    • 5.6.2. Aptilo Networks
    • 5.6.3. Birdstep
    • 5.6.4. Devicescape
    • 5.6.5. Greenpacket
    • 5.6.6. Kineto Wireless
    • 5.6.7. Notava
    • 5.6.8. Smith Micro Software
    • 5.6.9. WebToGo
    • 5.6.10. WeFi
  • 5.7. Wi-Fi equipment vendors
    • 5.7.1. Alvarion
    • 5.7.2. Aruba Networks
    • 5.7.3. Edgewater Wireless
    • 5.7.4. GoNet Systems
    • 5.7.5. Motorola Solutions
    • 5.7.6. Ruckus Wireless
    • 5.7.7. Ubiquiti Networks
    • 5.7.8. Xirrus
    • 5.7.9. Z-Com

6. Market trends and forecasts

  • 6.1. Small cell market trends
    • 6.1.1. Moving from femtocell trials to commercial deployments
    • 6.1.2. HetNets and the changing role of small cells
    • 6.1.3. Wi-Fi offloading is gaining acceptance among mobile operators
    • 6.1.4. HetNet and small cell adoption may lead to industry transformation
  • 6.2. Small cell market forecasts
    • 6.2.1. Smartphone, tablet and mobile PC adoption forecast
    • 6.2.2. Cellular data traffic forecast
    • 6.2.3. Global small cell deployment forecast
    • 6.2.4. Small cell deployments in Asia-Pacific
    • 6.2.5. Small cell deployments in Europe
    • 6.2.6. Small cell deployments in North America
    • 6.2.7. Global small cell shipment forecast
  • Glossary

List of Figures

  • Figure 1.1: Mobile subscriptions and handset sales by region (World 2012)
  • Figure 1.2: Fixed-line broadband connections by region (World Q4-2012)
  • Figure 1.3: Annual mobile voice and data traffic (World 2007-2012)
  • Figure 1.4: Annual mobile data traffic (USA 2009-2012)
  • Figure 1.5: Mobile subscriptions and handset sales by standard (World 2012)
  • Figure 1.6: Theoretical peak data rates by wireless technology
  • Figure 1.7: Theoretical peak data rates by fixed-line technology
  • Figure 2.1: UMTS network architecture
  • Figure 2.2: LTE network architecture
  • Figure 2.3: Heterogeneous network
  • Figure 2.4: Comparison of cellular network cell types
  • Figure 2.5: Iuh based femtocell architecture in UMTS networks
  • Figure 2.6: IMS based architecture
  • Figure 2.7: LTE femtocell architectures and interfaces
  • Figure 2.8: UMA/GAN architecture and interfaces
  • Figure 2.9: 3GPP I-WLAN architecture
  • Figure 3.1: Examples of commercial femtocell offerings (June 2013)
  • Figure 4.1: Examples of Wi-Fi network operators and aggregators (June 2013)
  • Figure 4.2: Examples of carrier Wi-Fi network operators (June 2013)
  • Figure 5.1: Small cell solutions by vendor (June 2013)
  • Figure 5.2: Overview of femtocell access point vendors (June 2013)
  • Figure 5.3: Acquisitions in the small cell ecosystem (2010-2013)
  • Figure 5.4: Examples of Wi-Fi equipment vendors (June 2013)
  • Figure 6.1: Comparison of main telecom indicators by region (World Q4-2012)
  • Figure 6.2: Handset shipments and user forecast (World 2012-2018)
  • Figure 6.3: Cellular data traffic usage forecast (World 2012-2018)
  • Figure 6.4: Small cell installed base (World 2012-2018)
  • Figure 6.5: Main telecom indicators in Asia-Pacific (2012-2018)
  • Figure 6.6: Main telecom indicators in EU27+2 (2012-2018)
  • Figure 6.7: Main telecom indicators in North America (2012-2018)
  • Figure 6.8: Small cell shipments by type (World 2012-2018)
  • Figure 6.9: Small cell shipments by region (World 2012-2018)
  • Figure 6.10: Small cell shipments by air interface (World 2012-2018)
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