With operators struggling to maintain cost-effective operations in the face of exponentially growing data demand, many are now turning to unlicensed spectrum technologies. ABI Research predicts that the support for unlicensed spectrum technologies, including LTE-LAA and Wi-Fi, will be one of the main drivers for the indoor small cell market, resulting in overall revenue hitting $1.8 billion in 2021.
“Unlicensed LTE had a rough start, meeting negative and skeptic reactions to its possible conflict with Wi-Fi operations in the 5 GHz bands,” says Ahmed Ali, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “But the ongoing standardization and coexistence efforts increased the support in the technology ecosystem.”
For the LAA standard, the 3GPP adopted a Listen-Before-Talk channel access mechanism to share the spectrum fairly. The IEEE and Wi-Fi Alliance are also developing a coexistence testing process to help stakeholders deliver a harmonized, multi-technology environment in the unlicensed spectrum.
In harmony with the adoption of unlicensed LTE solutions, Wi-Fi remains an essential and well-established element of the indoor connectivity. The availability of multiple access technologies aligns well with the different enterprise requirements and will drive further convergence among these technologies in the years ahead.
“The dynamic and diverse nature of indoor venues calls for an all-inclusive small cell network that intelligently adapts to different user requirements,” concludes Ali. “Support for multi-operation features like 3G/4G and Wi-Fi/LAA access is necessary for the enterprise market.”
ABI Research forecasts that support for LTE-based and Wi-Fi unlicensed spectrum technologies within small cell equipment will grow to comprise 51% of total annual shipments by 2021 at a CAGR of 47%.
About ABI Research
ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm delivering actionable research and strategic guidance to technology leaders, innovators, and decision makers around the world. Our research focuses on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces today.
ABI Research提供开创性的研究和战略指导，帮助客户了解日新月异的技术。 自1990年以来，我们已与全球数百个领先的技术品牌，尖端公司，具有远见的政府机构以及创新的贸易团体建立了合作关系。 我们帮助客户创造真实的业务成果。
For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific, or visit www.abiresearch.com.
Asia: +65 6950.5670