Mobile and Small Cell Industry Statistics. Did you know just how big the market is?

StatisticsLarge numbers are often bandied about when it comes to the mobile telecom industry. Impressive growth rates, billion dollar market sizes, and huge investments are often quoted. But it can be easy to get this out of context. We recap some industry statistics and try to get things into proportion.

You might even find the answers include a few surprises.

Double deprivation of limited communication in rural areas

Limited QuantityI have a friend who lives in a village in a rural area of the UK. Wireline broadband service is fairly poor, with very low data rates via DSL. Despite UK wired broadband rollout being ahead of plan, those in outlying rural areas can be limited to data rates of 100Kbps or less which isn't compatible with many of today's image intensive websites. Being limited to one voice call per line means sharing it between business and domestic use which can be awkward.

Skip the 5G hype and invest in more Small Cell methodology

5GEuropean leaders have recently admitted that the region is losing out on the race to adopt 4G/LTE. Their solution is to win the race for 5G. I doubt this will solve the immediate issue and wonder if 5G should be less about additional technology steps and more about how the industry operates.

Did you get a Small Cell or a Smartphone for Christmas?

Christmas PresentThe holiday season has seen the usual flood of presents and gifts between family and friends. Billions of dollars has been spent on smartphones and tablets. This popular category of gift is suitable for all ages, whether the latest upgrade for a seasoned user, a major transition from a voice & text 2G cellphone or a sideways move from an App oriented Wi-Fi only iPod.

Observing the reactions from both ends of the spectrum – from real geeks to cautious newcomers - has been quite enlightening over the last couple of weeks. Coverage and usage costs typically aren't well understood and I suspect very few (if any) Small Cells will have been given as presents. Here, we offer some observations of our own which may not be statistically significant, and may not be entirely relevant to your own country/operator, but highlight some of today's ongoing industry challenges.

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    Residential

    Residential

    A significant number of users continue to report poor mobile coverage in their homes. There will always be areas which are uneconomic for mobile operator to reach. They range from rural areas

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    Enterprise

    Enterprise

    The term Enterprise addresses any non-residential in-building including hotels, convention centres, transport hubs, offices, hospitals and retail outlets. It's not just intended for businesses to

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    Urban

    Urban

    Urban small cells (sometimes also named metrocells) are compact and discrete mobile phone basestations, unobstrusively located in urban areas. They can be mounted on lampposts, positioned on the

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    Rural

    Rural

    A rural small cell is a low power mobile phone base station designed to bring mobile phone service to small pockets of population in remote rural areas. These could be hamlets, small villages or

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