"After a strong year in 2018 and a moderate 2019, 2020 will be a transition year for small cells as we progress from LTE to 5G. We've taken a look at the uncertainty around COVID-19, which may slow down operator network plans, but overall Mobile Experts forecasts that small cell unit shipments will trend steadily upward through 2025," commented Principal Analyst Kyung Mun.
A key finding of the report is that the enterprise segment will be a bright spot for a small cells. Private LTE and Private 5G networks are on the rise, with new spectrum released recently in the USA, Germany, Japan, UK, and many other key countries considering a similar measure. While growth may be lackluster for a time due to COVID-19, growing interest in private LTE/5G wireless networking for industrial automation and other enterprise applications that require reliable, low-latency wireless links remains strong.
"Carrier Indoor small cells will continue to grow rapidly, as aggressive 5G network rollouts in China are driving a huge volume of distributed DRS solutions including Huawei's Lapsite, and ZTE's Qcell," said Principal Analyst Kyung Mun. "We expect Carrier Indoor small cell unit shipments to represent a majority of the small cell equipment market value of $5.5 billion in 2025."