Small cells: worldwide forecast 2020–2028

13 February 2024 | Research

Caroline Gabriel | Stephen Burton

Forecast report | PPTX and PDF (12 slides); Excel | Next-Generation Wireless Networks

"5G, Open RAN and private cellular will combine to deliver on the promise of small cells at last."


This report provides forecasts for addressable revenue for suppliers of equipment, software and services for small cell networks, in 2020–2028. It provides details on revenue growth by cellular technology, RAN architecture and public/private site types. The report outlines the major drivers of growth in the small-cell sector and provides recommendations for vendors and operators.

Key questions answered in this report

  • What are the key trends and factors that will affect the small-cell market during 2020–2028?
  • Which will be the key areas of new revenue, and how will emerging technologies such as vRAN and Open RAN perform?
  • What are the regional factors that will drive growth?
  • What should vendors do to exploit new business opportunities and address non-traditional deployers such as private network operators?
  • How important will 5G be to drive new small-cell network deployments?

Who should read this report

  • Small-cell vendor strategy and planning teams.
  • Product management teams that are responsible for feature functionality and geographical focus, and product marketing teams that are responsible for revenue growth.
  • Vendors that are looking to leverage small cells to enter the RAN market for the first time, including start-ups.
  • Investors in mobile network start-ups, operators or small-cell technology.
  • Strategy teams and CTO office within MNOs, to understand trends that will affect their procurement strategies and architecture.

Geographical coverage

  • Worldwide
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • Developed Asia–Pacific
  • Emerging Asia–Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • North America
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Western Europe

Service types

  • Site type: indoor and outdoor 
  • Public and private small cells
  • RAN architecture: integrated, centralised, virtualised and Open RAN
  • Network: 5G and non-5G


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Caroline Gabriel

Research Director, expert in TMT network strategies