Small cells and shared spectrum forecast to 2025
Shared spectrum combined with small cell technology will open up every major enterprise to a new era of indoor cellular performance, previously undreamed of, says a new report out this week from Rethink Technology Research.
The US will pioneer this with CBRS and Rethink forecasts that by 2025, shared spectrum small cells will account for almost half (48%) of total new installations, and CBRS will still represent two-thirds of those, running in both 5G and 4G. The bulk of these will be within enterprise.
“Small cells and shared spectrum: making the mobile enterprise a reality at last?” shows there could be as many as 3.7 million base stations using shared spectrum installed globally by 2025.
The report shows best case, worst case and middle case, based on future regulator decisions – Regulators must trigger much of this activity by making clear and early decisions before the end of 2019.
There is an opportunity here for disruption of MNO business from alternative deployers, as shared spectrum will allow companies who do not own spectrum to build centrally controlled wireless networks of their own for the first time.
Licensed-band small cells in enterprise and outdoor markets will reach peak roll-out levels in 2019 because of major densification programs by Sprint, AT&T and Verizon, but will decline between that year and 2022 as the operators shift their focus to 5G – first in the macro layer and later in small cells.
New types of operators, including neutral hosts, cloud providers, cablecos and enterprise integrators, will be able to harness shared spectrum and small cells to deploy specialized capabilities just where they are needed, and so to make a stronger business case for enterprise services than an MNO usually can.
Most of this will be ahead of the mass arrival of 5G, but will carry on into 5G, after starting initially with LTE, and will rely on technologies like MulteFire – which can be deployed without any licensed-band anchor network – and spectrum like CBRS will pave the way for a mobile enterprise platform that is finally fit for purpose.
This report shows how Rethink sees this market developing as the two key license types of shared spectrum play out in the US against one another, with the key example of a split between the auctioned Priority Access License and the General Authorized Access applied to CBRS and with more of a shared license model emerging elsewhere.
Regulators will need to act fast to avoid an all-out war between WiFi and cellular, especially as there is a whole new slice of license free spectrum in 6 GHz, but if new shared bands are not released for cellular, then all these technologies will end up battling it out in 5 GHz and 6 GHz.
1. What will be the early priorities in share spectrum spending?
2. what new types of businesses will enter the market?
3. How will spending for shared spectrum fit in alongside 5G spending?
This report is 46 pages long, has 15 graphs and tables, and gives a blueprint for MNO purchasing in shared spectrum by region, technology, and network element. It contains explanatory notes and commentary to accompany the Excel spreadsheet ‘Rethink RAN Module Shared Spectrum Feb19’. That contains further data breakdowns including regional patterns. The surveys and forecasts on which the outputs are based were conducted in September 2018.
Companies mentioned in this report: Airband TVWS consortium, Airspan, Altice, American Tower, Amazon AWS, Athonet, AT&T, Berkeley Vaitronics, Boingo, BMW, CableLabs, CBRS Alliance, CDE Lightband, Charter Communications, Cisco, Comcast, CommScope, Cox, Crown Castle, Daimler, Dell, Department of Defense, Ericsson, ExteNet, Federated Wireless, FCC, GE, Google, JMA Wireless, LoRa, Mercedes, Microsoft, Mobilitie, Nokia, NTIA, Ruckus Wireless, Samsung, Sigfox, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Volkswagen, WinnForum, Zinwave
For more information contact:
Chloe Spring (Marketing Manager): [email protected]