Dropped or Missed Calls Are More Than An Irritant. They Can Be a Revenue Killer. In-Building Wireless to Reach US$22.2 Billion
The global market for In-Building Wireless is projected to reach US$22.2 billion by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 10.9% over the analysis period 2020 through 2027. The wireless industry globally has remained almost resilient to the impact of COVID-19 that coerced a large number of businesses to temporarily suspend operations in conformance to the enforcement of stringent guidelines by governments. Despite the severe impact on businesses and the economic crisis, majority of large and small wireless players maintained business continuity and revenue flows. The performance can be attributed to the growing need for connectivity and more capacity. Massive exodus to work from home (WFH) operational models has temporarily shifted the importance of in-building wireless technologies from traditional office buildings to residential buildings and home. A key pre-pandemic trend of significance is smartphone penetration rates which are reaching saturation levels, making smartphone use omnipresent. A large percentage of smartphone use takes place indoors in offices, homes & restaurants. Building materials like concrete & steel tend to disrupt signals and impede cellular connections. COVID-19 induced mass exodus to WFH models has resulted in greater focus shed on indoor signal quality for uninterrupted communications. Weak signals result in poor data or voice performance across 3G, 4G or 5G networks resulting in poor productivity at a time when employees depend upon wireless networks. In-building wireless provides an alternate solution to enhance and distribute wireless connections within a building be it an office or home.
Also, the pandemic has created a unique need for contact tracing for tracking infected people along with individuals who have come in contact with the confirmed case for prompt isolation. With various governments lifting COVID-19-related restrictions and allowing resumption of business activity with precautions, enterprises are eying on wireless technology for protecting their employees. Wireless technologies including Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth provide organizations with the opportunity to track employees in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak to identify people who have contacted an infected person for quick testing and isolation. Demand for technologies that support in-campus and in-building contact tracing is therefore growing. The scenario is driving system integrators and various facilities to consider installation of in-building wireless systems. The pandemic has underscored the need for in-building wireless coverage for business and personal connectivity along with public safety. Vendors are leveraging the opportunity to install in-building wireless systems in medical facilities, office buildings, retail stores, multi-tenant residences, schools and warehouses to assist clients in ensuring connectivity in the post-COVID-19 world.
The pandemic has therefore provided a significant impetus to in-building communication projects associated with public safety. Leading vendors are busy in installation of in-building systems for supporting first responder communications, while several facility owners are tapping the opportunity for expediting in-building projects. In contrast to routine projects, initiatives related to public safety are getting priority and being shifted ahead of their scheduled time. Though the FirstNet nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) is garnering attention, the focus of various in-building systems intended for first responders is on LMR technologies rather than FirstNet LTE systems that use 700MHz Band 14 spectrum. Majority of these projects are targeting traditional LMR frequencies along with 700/800MHz LMR and SMR along with 900MHz public safety paging and conventional UHF/VHF. On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted projects for the healthcare industry that is witnessing increasing number of infected patients. In addition, some of these projects are being affected by disruptions in supply chains and logistics issues. These issues are prompting various players to build on the inventory to avoid price escalations and project delays. In-Building Wireless systems are supported by DAS and small cell networks. DAS is a solution that is considered suitable for large indoor facilities involving high Internet usage. DAS enables multi-operator support given its ability to connect to multiple base stations of similar type, which can be used by mobile operators in outdoor networks. Small cells, which comprise of low-powered nodes or antennas, are connected using fiber optic cables and are useful in providing high quality wireless coverage to regions with dense population including indoor environments. Neutral host systems refer to infrastructure (in-building/exterior small cell network) that consists of single shared solution offering access to wireless service providers. With need for wireless connectivity on the rise, service quality and speed are critical factors for which significant infrastructure is needed. The need for infrastructure can be minimized through the use of a neutral host system. Competitors identified in this market include, among others,
- Alcatel-Lucent S.A.
- Airspan Networks, Inc.
- Ascom Holding AG
- Anixter International, Inc.
- Accelleran CVBA
- American Tower Corporation
- Advanced RF Technologies, Inc.
- AirWavz Solutions
- Alliance Corp.