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WIA report analyzes U.S. in-building wireless landscape and market potential

WIA report analyzes U.S. in-building wireless landscape and market potential

According to a recent market study by the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), in-building wireless networks are rising in the United States.

The report, titled U.S. In-Building Wireless: A Market Study, summarizes the various technologies and products that make up this market. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of implementing in-building wireless technology.

According to the WIA report, spending on in-building networks totaled $567 million in 2022, with 747,400 in-building small cell nodes in operation. The report also found that the construction of in-building networks generated nearly $274 million in spending while operating those networks generated an additional $293 million. The networks included DAS, indoor small cells, private LTE/5G networks and access points across multiple nodes per system and building.

The figures for spending and node count were not included in the figures. The report authors noted that that “Private LTE/5G is unlikely to supplant enterprise Wi-Fi any more than public LTE has. Wi-Fi and private LTE/5G are complementary.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing disruption, the report notes that the commercial building cellular IBW market outlook is positive. Enterprises are expected to implement private wireless networks to manage in-building connectivity.

While sub-6 GHz in-building networks have been used for years, introducing CBRS has brought changes, leading to increased spending. During the pandemic, several building owners and tenants took advantage of the situation to upgrade or enlarge their sub 6 GHz networks. Neutral host CBRS networks make connecting to mobile operators’ core networks possible.

The report’s authors also expect that in-building 5G networks will use C-band spectrum, CBRS and various network architectures. Mobile operators will enhance their current DAS networks with 5G technology. The report notes that the in-building landscape may become even stronger with the post-pandemic return to offices and increased travel.

The report’s market sizing data was calculated using information from the 2021 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) dataset, the 2021 Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS) dataset, the Statistics of U.S. Business dataset, iGR’s in-building wireless networks research, and NAICS sector and sub-sector descriptions.

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