Report Says Small Cell Antenna Shipments Increased 84% in 2017
A report, the U.S. Outdoor Small Cell Antenna Market Analysis and Forecast, 2018-2022, by EJL Wireless Research, found that small cell antenna shipments increased by 84 percent last year, with Alpha Wireless as the top provider.
“Within the outdoor small cell antenna market, the shape and size of the antenna with regards to visual impact on the site is sometimes more critical than the RF performance of the antenna,” EJL Wireless Research president Earl Lum says. Alpha Wireless offers innovation in the area of concealment, and chairman and CEO Fergal Lawlor says this a big part of the company’s success in the U.S.
According to the report, the need to support multiple frequency bands, as well new frequency bands such as 3.5 GHz for CBRS and 5.8 GHz, is driving up antenna port counts. The need to support 2×2 or 4×4 MIMO is also adding to the load, and EJL Wireless Research says these combined factors mean there is increasing demand for antennas with high levels of integration but minimal footprint.
The report forecasts a 75 percent increase in U.S. outdoor small cell antenna shipments for 2018, due to increasing demand from all four of the country’s national mobile operators, as well as neutral host operators.
“We are absolutely seeing that demand, and we’re constantly working to extend our product range to better cater to each client’s unique challenges,” Lawlor said. “Cell sites don’t need to be an eyesore and we are constantly coming up with new solutions to prove that.”