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Strong growth for femtocells in 2011, says analyst

Public access small cells are gaining clear market traction and will dominate small cell revenues for the foreseeable future

The femtocell market is set for renewed growth in 2011, following the entrance of major semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom and deployment commitments by six operators in the last quarter alone. That is the central message from Informa Telecoms & Media’s new quarterly status report on the femtocell market, which is published on the Femto Forum’s website.

The past three months saw the first major acquisition in the femtocell industry, with Broadcom’s purchase of Israeli semiconductor start-up Percello. This validated the market, Informa said, and will help to drive competition in the space. There has also been a spate of operator deployment announcements with Vodafone Australia, three Taiwanese operators (Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone), Turkish operator Avea and UAE operator Du all committing to femtocell deployments in 2011. Additionally, Verizon Wireless and MoldTelecom, the Moldovan incumbent, both began actively offering 3G femtocell services in the past quarter.

“All the signs indicate femtocells are set to have a strong 2011 as both the operator and vendor communities continue to get behind the technology,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Informa expects the femtocell market to experience significant growth over the next few years, reaching just under 49 million femtocell access points (FAP) worldwide by 2014 and 114 million mobile users accessing mobile networks through femtocells during that year. Healthy growth is anticipated throughout the forecast period with femtocell unit sales reaching 25 million in 2014 alone.

The expansion of the femtocell industry is also reflected in the growing membership of the Femto Forum, the femtocell industry association, which now includes 72 vendors and 58 mobile operators representing over 1.71 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, across multiple wireless technologies (WiMAX, UMTS and CDMA) and accounts for 33 per cent of total mobile subscribers worldwide.


One comment

  1. Keith Day 16/12/2010 @ 4:05 pm

    The market is taking off because femtos are cheaper to buy, easier to install and require a fraction of the management of traditional cells.

    They’re simpler because the their intelligence is built-in: encapsulated and automated by software.

    That’s why femtos have extended into enterprise, metro and rural environments.

    Femto: not always small, but always clever: http://tinyurl.com/368mabv

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