LONDON, October 26, 2016

Nokia achieved top ranking in ABI Research’s latest small cell solutions competitive assessment. Following its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia’s innovative solutions and customer lists repositioned it as the small cell market leader. Huawei and Ericsson ranked second and third place overall, respectively.

“Small cells are fundamental to the next-generation 5G networks, which is why vendors like Nokia are innovating by developing future-proof, well-rounded solutions that allow operators to expand their network capabilities and provide high-quality services,” says Ahmed Ali, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “Features like multi-band, multi-access, carrier aggregation, unlicensed integration, VoLTE, and virtualization, which were once nice to have, are now essential to the new wave of small cells.”

Public and metro small cell deployments are also ramping up with the help of a sophisticated set of small cell site planning, installation, and management services. As operators increase their deployments, small cell vendors are increasingly involved in solving non-technical site deployment challenges to accelerate small cell adoption. Leveraging a wide network of technology and service partners helps vendors establish turnkey solutions or “as-a-service” delivery models.

Although small cell solutions have come a long way in the past two years in term of technical capacity and deployment support, the extensive rollout resolving many of the operators’ and enterprises’ deployment challenges, the anticipated extensive small cell rollout for 4G and 5G networks puts pressure on technology vendors to keep the innovation wheel rolling.

“To remain in the competition, vendors now need to not only provide flexible and diverse small cell technologies that meet the different requirements across the market segments, but also keep reinventing deployment models with faster times to market and more cost effective approaches,” concludes Ali.