Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Mobile Phone In-Building Wireless Systems

ABI Research forecasts worldwide deployment revenues from in-building wireless systems to grow from $3.8 billion in 2007 to more than $15 billion in 2013. Drivers for this tremendous growth include consumer's growing dependence on wireless voice and messaging communications, as well as an increasingly competitive mobile operator environment.

But underlying all demand drivers is a fundamental connectivity issue.

According to principal analyst Dan Shey, "The higher frequencies used by 3G technologies impose limits on wireless coverage inside buildings based on current cell site distributions. The business case is made for deployment of in-building wireless systems because mobile data services are capturing a greater share of subscriber's mobile phone services spend."

But every region and operator has a different set of network technologies, competitive conditions and cell phone usage. Fortunately for the owners of in-building systems, which include businesses, operators and building owners, a range of solutions make in-building wireless systems economically viable.

System configurations can include passive and active distributed antenna systems, multi-band repeaters and antennas, picocells, femtocells, coax, fiber and CAT-5 cabling.

The range of systems and solutions, however, creates a very complex and competitive supplier environment where product development, pricing and even consolidation will be the important levers for suppliers to maintain growth rates in line with system deployment growth.

In-building wireless systems will also create the network conditions for additional service capabilities including public safety band coverage, alternative broadband and voice network access, and managed services.

In-building wireless networks will become more than simply an extension of the cellular macro network. They will become the basis for delivery of a range of business services that will ultimately change how wireless telecommunications are provided indoors.

The new ABI report examines the critical demand drivers for in-building wireless systems. Included in the demand driver review are forecasts and estimates of the impact they will have on different systems by region.