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Domestic telecom gear maker HFCL has partnered with Qualcomm Technologies for design and development of 5G outdoor small cell products, the home-grown firm said on Thursday. In continuation with its 5G strategy, HFCL's investment in 5G Outdoor Small Cell products will enable faster rollout of 5G networks, improved 5G user experience and more efficient utilisation of 5G spectrum, the company said in a statement.

"As operators start rolling out 5G networks in India, they need outdoor small cells to complement their macro networks for a seamless 5G experience.

"Qualcomm Technologies' innovative and highly integrated 5G small cell platform enables us to more quickly develop a portfolio of small cell products for both sub-6 GHz and millimetre wave to address India and global markets," HFCL Managing Director Mahendra Nahata said.

Small cells are expected to play a critical role in 5G networks due to the introduction of higher spectrum bands, which necessitate denser network deployments to support larger traffic volumes.

"As 5G becomes mainstream in India, small cells will be crucial for successful 5G infrastructure and realising the potential of IoT and smart cities. We are pleased to be working closely with an industry leader such as HFCL to enhance network densification, accelerate 5G adoption and deliver unparalleled consumer experiences in India," Qualcomm India Vice President and Qualcomm India and SAARC, President Rajen Vagadia said.

Small cell deployments help to enhance coverage in places where existing macro cells have coverage holes or blackspots, or where coverage does not exist at all. In addition, small cells provide capacity enhancements by offloading traffic from macro cells in densely occupied locations.

Global market research firm Fortune Business Insights forecasts the worldwide 5G small cell market will increase from USD 740 million in 2020 to USD 17.9 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 54.4 per cent.