DAS, other in-building wireless systems reaching $10B globally

Researcher ABI says most deployments are taking place in Asia-Pacific but innovations are happening in North America.

A new report from ABI Research covering in-building wireless systems comprises distributed antenna systems (DAS), repeaters, picocells and femtocells. According to ABI, the total global market for these systems will be close to $10 billion next year. The three largest vendors in terms of market share are TE Connectivity, Andrew (CommScope), and Corning, ABI says.

TE Connectivity gained a presence in the DAS market with its acquisition of ADC, which was announced last July and closed last December. Corning acquired MobileAccess in the first quarter of this year and integrated the business into Corning Cable Systems. Combined, these three companies account for nearly 60 percent of the in-building wireless systems market across the glob, ABI says.

ABI practice director Aditya Kaul pointed out the interesting geographic market dynamics of these systems. "While the Asia-Pacific region accounts for the majority of IBW deployments, most innovation is coming from North America where many of the largest vendors are based and where budgets can support the often considerable expense of IBW. A little later these innovations filter through to Europe, and then to Asia, where cost-effective solutions are in greatest demand." This observation is particularly interesting considering that ABI reports the majority of deployments will continue to be found in APAC, which is characterized by high population density and mobile penetration. North America and Europe, ABI says, show consistent but much lower levels of activity.

In rank-order, the user-organization types that are leading the adoption of these systems are 1) corporate campuses, 2) airports and railway stations, and 3) retail shopping centers. Healthcare facilities are a close fourth, the research firm says.

While those are the user types at which IBW systems including DAS are being deployed, the actual paying customer for the installation of these systems is not always the property owner. ABI says the actual purchaser usually is the entity with the most to gain, and can be the enterprise, building owner, transport authority, mobile operator or other.

ABI industry analyst Xavier Ortiz says that constantly growing data traffic, rapid uptake of data-oriented personal mobile devices, and consumers' heightened expectations for service are the main drivers of IBW system deployment. "Many organizations now appreciate the added value IBW systems can bring," he said, "and the economic recovery now underway in many regions has meant the resumption of deployments that were shelved during the worst of the slump."

You can find out more about the new report here.

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