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, 2020 - 2027

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-887-9
  • Number of Pages: 121
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global small cell 5G network market size was valued at USD 310.8 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 77.6% from 2020 to 2027. In terms of volume, the market was worth 215 thousand units in 2019. The ever-rising demand for fast mobile data connectivity among consumers has surged the deployment of the next-generation Radio Access Network (RAN). The installation of small cell 5G networks is rapidly increasing in enterprises, industrial, and residential applications to provide enhanced coverage capacity at an affordable cost. Rapidly rising mobile data traffic across the globe enables telecom operators to migrate towards network densification to provide the high-speed capacity to mass consumers. The global mobile traffic is anticipated to rise more than 175 exabytes/month by 2027, which will be more than 50% carried by the 5G network.

North America small cell 5G network market demand

The deployment for next-generation small cell networks is estimated to witness significant growth over the forecast period. This is attributable to the increasing demand for a 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 Ultra-high Definition (UHD)/4K video, seamless video calling, 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.

Some of the largest economies, such as the U.S. and China, are expected to continue spending aggressively on provisioning healthcare facilities. For instance, the National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) of the U.S. expects the overall healthcare spending in the U.S. to reach around USD 6.0 trillion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of nearly 5.5% from 2018 to 2027. The healthcare industry, especially in developed economies, has begun emphasizing concepts like remote diagnosis and surgeries to the patients. 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 2020 to 2027.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is certainly expected to slow 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 trades of small cell telecom equipment for 5G New Radios (NR). Besides, the ongoing pandemic has had an additional impact with telecom regulatory authorities postponing their plans of 5G spectrum auctions, thereby adversely impacting the market growth. For instance, governments in a few key countries, including the U.S., France, Spain, and Australia, have temporarily postponed the spectrum auctions on several frequencies, such as Sub-6 GHz and mmWave. The aforementioned factors are collectively expected to pose a challenge to market growth, especially over the next couple of years. Moreover, the escalating trade war between the two largest economies like China and the U.S. is further anticipated to hinder the market growth.

Component Infrastructure Insights

In terms of volume, the femtocell segment dominated the market with a share exceeding 60% in 2019. 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 85% in 2019. 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, Verizon Communications, and China Mobile Limited, have firstly deployed a 5G NSA network model catering to primary uses cases such as cloud-based AR/VR gaming 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 55% in 2019. This is attributed to a robust deployment of 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 2020 to 2027.

Key telecom operators are massively investing in deploying virtualized small cell 5G network infrastructure across several major countries. For instance, in May 2020, China Telecom and China have agreed with Ericsson to deploy cloud-based 5G radio access and core network on various frequency spectrums, including low band mid-band. This project will help these communication providers (CSP) to cut the overall infrastructure costs and network complexities. As a result, it is further expected to assist the virtualized segment in reaching market revenue of USD 19.89 billion by 2027.

Deployment Mode Insights

In terms of value, the indoor segment dominated the market with a share of exceeding 80% in 2019. 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 the high-value customers are devoting over 80% of their working hours in the 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 87.6% from 2020 to 2027.

Frequency Type Insights

In terms of value, sub-6 GHz dominated the market with a share of more than 90% in 2019. This is attributed to the enormous investments by key communication service providers in acquiring low and mid-band frequencies to deliver high bandwidth services to consumers, businesses, and industries. Recently, the 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, few key small cell component providers such as Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. unveiled new chipset for 5G small cells, which supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave frequency bands. Owing to 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 enhanced bandwidth capacity with very low latency. These spectrum bands would be mainly helpful in applications where ultra-reliable connectivity is a prerequisite, especially in remote patient surgeries and vehicle to vehicle (V2V) connectivity. Additionally, few federal governments across developed economies have released mmWave spectrum bands to provide enhanced data services. For instance, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) released several mmWave frequencies, including 24.25-24.45 GHz, 47.2-48.2 GHz, 24.75-25.25 GHz, and 38.6-40 GHz, among others with a view of delivering ultra-reliable connectivity for applications such as autonomous vehicles. Countries like Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Italy, have released mmWave frequencies for improved data capacity. Thus, increased focus to release mmWave frequencies by key federal governments across many countries is expected to augment the mmWave segment growth from 2020 to 2027.

End-user Insights

In terms of value, corporates/ enterprises dominated the market with a share of nearly 60% in 2019. 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 to utilize the existing broadband infrastructure to deploy these next-generation networks. Besides, initially, the small cell 5G networks have been seen a colossal adoption across residential applications such as smart home, cloud gaming, and home broadband.

Global small cell 5G network market share

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, the installation of small cell 5G network for industrial applications is expected to showcase a 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 network with a share of more than 30% in 2019. 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 large subscriber base. Consequently, the market in the region is anticipated to experience robust growth over the forecast period.

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. A multitude of investments made in deploying small cell network by the afore-mentioned companies is anticipated to help the market reach USD 7.05 billion by 2027. For instance, in September 2018, T-Mobile signed an agreement with Ericsson a worth of USD 3.5 million to support T-Mobile’s 5G network infrastructure. Also, in this deal, Ericsson will provide 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software to T-Mobile for offering high-speed internet.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is notably consolidated, with few of the players accounting a significant share of the total market revenue in 2019. 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 2019, 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 stadium, airports, and busy pedestrian zones. Another picocell RAN device from Nokia Corporation caters to the need for 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 2020

USD 676.3 million

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 28,476.4 million

Growth Rate (Revenue)

CAGR of 77.6% from 2020 to 2027

Market size volume in 2020

480 thousand units

Volume forecast in 2027

26,723 thousand units

Growth Rate (Volume)

CAGR of 70.6% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historic Data


Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Volume in thousand units, revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

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

Segments covered

Component, network model, network architecture, deployment mode, frequency type, end-user, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; South America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Germany; Italy; Russia; China; Japan; India; 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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Segments Covered in the Report

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 2027. 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 (Volume, Thousand Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2027)

    • Hardware

      • Picocell

      • Femtocell

      • Microcell

    • Services

      • Consulting

      • Deployment & Integration

      • Training and Support & Maintenance

  • Network Model Outlook (Volume, Thousand Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2027)

    • Standalone

    • Non-standalone

  • Network Architecture Outlook (Volume, Thousand Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2027)

    • Distributed

    • Virtualized

  • Deployment Mode Outlook (Volume, Thousand Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2027)

    • Indoor

    • Outdoor

  • Frequency Type Outlook (Volume, Thousand Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2027)

    • Sub-6 GHz

    • mmWave

    • Sub-6GHz + mmWave

  • End-user Outlook (Volume, Thousand Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2027)

    • 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 (Volume, Thousand Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • The U.K.

      • Germany

      • Italy

      • Russia

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

    • South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

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