GVR Report cover Small Cell 5G Network Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Small Cell 5G Network Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Component (Hardware, Services), By Network Model, By Network Architecture, By Deployment Mode, By Frequency Type, By End-user, And Segment Forecasts, 2022 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-887-9
  • Number of Pages: 201
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2019 - 2020
  • Industry: Technology

Report Overview

The global small cell 5G network market was estimated to be USD 999.43 million in 2021 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 72.7% from 2022 to 2030. In terms of volume, the market was worth 731 thousand units in 2021. The abruptly increasing demand for fast mobile data connectivity among consumers has increased the deployment of the next generation 5G Radio Access Network (RAN). Rising installation of small cell 5G networks is growing across, industrial, enterprises, and residential applications to provide enhanced coverage capacity at an affordable cost. Increasing mobile data traffic across the globe due to which the telecom operators migrate toward the network densification to provide high-speed capacity to mass consumers. The rise in the number of smart cities, especially in developed economies such as the U.S., Canada, Singapore, UK, Germany, Italy, and France has increased the deployment of small cell 5G networks across residential, commercial, government, and industrial applications.

U.S. small cell 5g network market, by network model, 2020 - 2030 (USD Million)

The deployment of next-generation small cell networks is estimated to witness significant growth over the forecast period. This is attributable to the increasing demand for the 5G network from a massive chunk of customers at public locations such as malls, offices, and stadiums. Also, the demand for 5G data services for several use cases, including seamless video calling, Ultra-high Definition (UHD)/4K video, and cloud-based VR/AR gaming, is rapidly mounting. As a result, it is further anticipated to boost the market growth over the forecast period. The small cell 5G network is anticipated to facilitate telecom operators to fulfill the demand for enhanced data connectivity for several industrial and enterprise business applications.

Some of the largest economies, such as the U.S. and China, are expected to continue spending insistently on provisioning healthcare facilities. The healthcare industry, especially in developed economies, has begun emphasizing remote diagnosis and patient surgeries. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled several key countries to build more robust healthcare capabilities through investing in advanced technologies such as 5G infrastructure. Thus, to deliver constant data connectivity during remote patient surgeries and telemedicine, the demand for small cell 5G network is expected to drive the market growth from 2022 to 2030.

COVID-19 Impact on the Small Cell 5G Network Market

The outbreak of COVID-19 slowed down the implementation of 5G infrastructure owing to the interruptions in further trials and testing needed for validating the stability and processing performance of 5G networks. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, key countries such as China and the U.S. have seen a robust decline in the trade of small cell telecom equipment for 5G New Radios (NR). Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the implementation of 5G networks to a certain extent as it halted the testing and QA activities necessary for verifying the processing performance and stability of 5G standalone networks. Moreover, the labor shortage and the complete disruption of across supply chains worldwide caused the delay in 5G network deployment, impacting the overall market growth in the first and second quarters of 2020.

The pandemic also led to postponing of the 5G spectrum auction plans of the telecom regulatory authorities, thereby adversely impacting the market growth. For instance, governments and authorities across key countries, including the U.S., France, Spain, and Australia, had to temporarily postpone their spectrum auctions for several frequencies, such as Sub-6 GHz and mmWave. The aforementioned factors collectively posed challenges to market growth during the pandemic. Moreover, the trade war between the two largest economies, China and the U.S. has had a negative impact on the overall 5G deployments worldwide.

Notably, the initiatives taken by the government to revive the economy have restored the 5G small cell network market growth. Over the long term, the market is anticipated to see notable growth across several applications such as enterprises, smart cities, industrials, energy, healthcare, and transportation, among others.

Component Insights

In terms of volume, the femtocell segment dominated the market with a share exceeding 53% in 2021. This is attributed to its increasing demand to attain unified bandwidth coverage for several enclosed applications such as malls, homes, offices, and hospitals. Small cells are mainly available into three categories, including femtocells, picocells, and microcells, based on their different ranges. The covering bandwidth ranges of femtocells, picocells, and microcells encompass up to 50 meters, up to 250 meters, and up to 3 Kilometers, respectively.

Pico cells play a vital role in covering a large portion of the population, delivering high-speed internet capacity in places like stadiums, concerts, festivals, and others. Moreover, telecom service providers are still facing uninterrupted data services across rural areas due to line-of-sight problems. Microcells provide seamless connectivity to consumers, especially in remote or rural areas, up to 3 KMs of distance. Due to the aforementioned factors, it is expected to stimulate the implementation of picocells and microcells over the next seven years.

Network Model Insights

In terms of value, the non-standalone (NSA) network model dominated the market with a share exceeding 81% in 2021. This is attributed to the early rollouts of the non-standalone network across the globe. The non-standalone network is generally deployed in integration with the existing legacy network infrastructure. Besides, several key service providers such as AT&T, Inc, and Verizon Communications, have firstly deployed a 5G non-standalone (NSA) network model that caters to the primary use cases including cloud-based AR/VR gaming, mobile streaming, and UHD videos.

The swiftly rising industrial digitalization has paved a new revenue stream for service providers across the globe. To provide endless connectivity between machines to machines, the need for the ultra-reliable high frequency with low latency communication is a prerequisite. Besides, the need for unified bandwidth capacity with minimum latency to establish seamless communication between autonomous vehicles is expected to drive market demand in the transportation & logistics segment. Therefore, the growing need for faster data speed across the verticals as mentioned above is anticipated to boost the deployment of the standalone network model during the forecast period.

Network Architecture Insights

In terms of value, virtualized network architecture dominated the market with a share of more than 61% in 2021. This is attributed to a robust deployment of a small cell 5G network with a centralized baseband unit controllable architecture. This helps service providers to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and increase the overall flexibility of the network by managing virtually all the small cell base stations. Besides, the introduction of Software-defined Networking (SDN) technology and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) to improve the operational efficiency of the RAN network is further expected to augment the segment growth from 2022 to 2030.

Key telecom operators are massively investing in deploying virtualized small cell 5G network infrastructure across several major countries. For instance, in September 2022, Mavenir announced the launch of high-capacity 5G small cell in-building standalone coverage for public spaces and enterprises. The 5G small cells provide flexibility, supporting centralized and distributed end-to-end open radio access network (ORAN) architecture. The company’s ORAN solution offers high-capacity, ease of deployment, and cost-effective solution for end-users, such as warehousing, retail, public spaces, and manufacturing.

Deployment Mode Insights

In terms of value, the indoor segment dominated the market with a share of exceeding 78% in 2021. This is attributed to the reliable deployment of next-generation small cells across several residential and non-residential applications. The non-residential uses mainly involve enterprises, retail malls, airports, and hospitals, among others. Moreover, according to the data published by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) states that high-value customers are devoting over 80% of their working hours to indoor premises. As a result, it is estimated to elevate the adoption of small cells for indoor applications in the next seven years.

Outdoor small cells are primarily installed for public networks in suburban, urban, or rural areas. The swiftly growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices across many applications such as autonomous vehicles and vehicles to infrastructure (V2I) connectivity have generated the need for high-speed data capacity. Additionally, the deployment of lamp post small cells is gaining popularity in rapidly building smart cities across the globe. This, in turn, is estimated to fuel the growth of the outdoor segment at a CAGR of 85.6% from 2022 to 2030.

Frequency Type Insights

In terms of value, sub-6 GHz dominated the market with a share of more than 69% in 2021. This is attributed to the enormous investments by key communication service providers in acquiring low and mid-band frequencies to provide customers with high bandwidth services for businesses and industrial customers. Recently, governments across key countries such as China, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and many other countries released sub-6 GHz frequencies to provide high-speed internet services in their countries. Furthermore, a few key small cell 5G component providers, such as Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., unveiled a new chipset for 5G small cells, which supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave frequency bands. Owing to the advantages to support multi-band frequencies, the sub-6GHz and mmWave segment is anticipated to gain considerable market growth in the forecast period.

mmWave frequencies are high band frequencies that provide high bandwidth capacity with very low latency. The spectrum bands are majorly helpful in applications where ultra-reliable connectivity is required especially in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) connectivity and remote patient surgeries. Additionally, the governments of some countries across the developed economies have released the mmWave spectrum bands to provide enhanced data services. For instance, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) released many types of mmWave frequencies, including 24.25-24.45 GHz, 24.75-25.25 GHz, 47.2-48.2 GHz, and 38.6-40 GHz, among others, with a view of delivering ultra-reliable connectivity for applications including autonomous vehicles, and AR/VR applications. Countries such as India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and Italy have released mmWave frequencies for improved data capacity across the country. This is expected to augment the mmWave segment growth from 2022 to 2030.

End-user Insights

In terms of value, the commercial segment dominated the market with a share of nearly 41% in 2021. This is attributed to the growing deployment of small cell 5G networks across large as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the globe. This 5G RAN network helps enterprises cater to the demand for massive data capacity and coverage needs at a very affordable cost. Moreover, small cell 5G networks also help organizations utilize the existing broadband infrastructure to deploy these next-generation networks. Besides, the small cell 5G networks have seen a colossal adoption across residential applications such as smart homes, cloud gaming, and home broadband.

Global small cell 5g network market share, by end-user, 2021 (%)

The robust increase in millions of Industrial IoT devices (IIoT) has created the demand for unified data connectivity to establish constant communication among these devices. These IIoT devices mainly include Ultra-HD wireless cameras, extended reality headsets, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and collaborative robots. To provide seamless connectivity with low latency, installing a small cell 5G network for industrial applications is expected to showcase massive growth over the forecast period. Moreover, another critical use case, such as asset monitoring in the energy & utility sector, is anticipated to experience strong growth in the coming years.

Regional Insights

In terms of value, Asia Pacific dominated the market for small cell 5G networks with a share of more than 33% in 2021. This is attributed to the aggressive deployment of 5G new radio infrastructure by major communication service providers such as China Mobile Limited; KT Corporation; Rakuten Mobile, Inc.; and NTT Docomo Inc. In addition, governments across key countries such as Japan, China, and South Korea are highly focused on releasing multiple sub-6GHz and mmWave frequencies to cater to the growing need for high-speed data connectivity among a large subscriber base. Consequently, the market in the region is anticipated to experience robust growth over the forecast period.

Small Cell 5G Network Market Trends by Region

With the presence of large service providers such as AT&T Inc., Sprint Corporation; T-Mobile; and Verizon Communications, the U.S. market is also expected to grow at a significant rate over the forecast period. These prominent service providers are engaged in launching new products to gain a competitive advantage and expand their product portfolio. For instance, in June 2021, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced the launch of its second generation 16 5G open radio access network (ORAN) platform for small cells - FSM200xx. This platform ensures global support, including sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) for enhanced radio frequency coverage.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is notably consolidated, with few of the players accounting for a significant share of the total market revenue in 2021. Key market players are aggressively focused on new product developments to capture a substantial market share and increase their overall product portfolios. For Instance, in February 2021, Nokia Corporation launched two new small cell products for indoor and outdoor applications. The first small cell with mmWave supporting capability delivers high-speed bandwidth for outdoor applications such as stadiums, airports, and busy pedestrian zones. Another picocell RAN device from Nokia Corporation caters to improved data connectivity across indoor applications such as shopping malls and hospitals.

Leading players are actively making partnerships and agreements with key telecom operators to expand their geographical presence. In September 2019, Ericsson made an agreement with KT Corporation to deploy Ericsson’s indoor small cell product for enterprise applications. Besides, in July 2019, Swisscom, a Switzerland-based telecom operator, in a partnership with Ericsson, deployed small cells in Switzerland for indoor applications. Some of the prominent players in the small cell 5G network market include:

  • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

  • Nokia Corporation

  • Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson

  • ZTE Corporation

  • Fujitsu Limited

  • CommScope Inc.

  • Comba Telecom Systems Holdings Ltd.

  • Altiostar

  • Airspan Networks

  • Ceragon

  • Contela

  • Corning

  • Baicells Technologies 

Small Cell 5G Network Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 999.43 million

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 125,764.04 million

Growth rate

CAGR of 72.7% from 2022 to 2030

Historic year

2019 - 2020

Base year for estimation


Forecast period

2022 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million, units in thousand units, and CAGR from 2022 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Component, Network Model, Network Architecture, Deployment Mode, Frequency Type, End-user, and Region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia-Pacific; South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Germany; Italy; Russia; China; India; Japan; South Korea; Brazil

Key companies profiled

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Nokia Corporation; Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson; ZTE Corporation; Fujitsu Limited; CommScope Inc.; Comba Telecom Systems Holdings Ltd.; Altiostar; Airspan Networks; Ceragon; Contela; Corning; Baicells Technologies

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options


Global Small Cell 5G Network Market Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2019 to 2030. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global small cell 5G network market report based on component, network model, network architecture, deployment mode, frequency type, end-user, and region:

  • Component Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2030)

    • Hardware

      • Picocell

      • Femtocell

      • Microcell

    • Services

      • Consulting

      • Deployment & Integration

      • Training and Support & Maintenance

  • Network Model Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2030)

    • Standalone

    • Non-standalone

  • Network Architecture Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2030)

    • Distributed

    • Virtualized

  • Deployment Mode Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2030)

    • Indoor

    • Outdoor

  • Frequency Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2030)

    • Sub-6 GHz

    • mmWave

    • Sub-6GHz + mmWave

  • End-user Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2030)

    • Residential

    • Commercial

      • Corporates/ Enterprises

      • Hospitals

      • Hotels & Restaurants

      • Malls/Shops

      • Stadiums

      • Others

    • Industrial

      • Smart Manufacturing

      • Energy & Utility

      • Oil & Gas and Mining

    • Smart City

    • Transportation & Logistics

    • Government & Defense

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • Italy

      • Russia

    • Asia-Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

    • South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

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