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Infonetics: Femtocell market set to double in 2012

in News, Report, Infonetics Research, Femtocell, LTE

Market research firm Infonetics Research expects global femtocell revenue nearly to double this year while unit shipments grow at nearly 140% compared to 2011.

According to firm's report, worldwide revenue from 2G and 3G femtocells used in consumer, enterprise and public spaces grew 9% sequentially in the third quarter of 2011, with 2G femtocell revenue declining and 3G femtocell revenue ramping. 4G LTE femtocells are expected to start shipping in late 2012.

Report highlights that Femtocell market leader Airvana is the first to break through the US$25 million quarterly revenue threshold, expanding its revenue market share lead significantly. The Cisco/ip.access partnership maintains its lead in terms of femtocell unit share, and increased its quarterly femtocell revenue to its second-highest level to date, but did not gain revenue market share as other players also posted notable gains, including Huawei and NEC/Ubiquisys.

Research firm also recently surveyed operators about their plans to provide enterprise customers with femtocell and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) services, such as enterprise femtocells, mobile PBX extension, unified communications, and dual-mode WiFi/cellular services. 61% of the operators participating in Infonetics’ survey already offer femtocell and FMC services to enterprises, 29% plan to offer the services in 2012, and 10% by 2013. The percentage of respondent operators deploying dual-mode 3G/WiFi femtocells jumps from 5% in 2011 to 38% in 2013

"Although there was a notable injection of impetus into the market in 2010 and 2011, the enterprise femtocell segment is still very young. At this early stage, most operators are proceeding cautiously, launching enterprise femtocell solutions to improve in-building network coverage (a challenge for mobile operators that can strain relations with high-value enterprise customers), mobile voice call quality, and mobile data capacity. Once the basic needs of capacity and coverage are improved, the opportunity to sell other, more sophisticated FMC services will follow," expects Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave, mobile offload and mobile broadband devices at Infonetics Research.

A growing number of operators are now offering free femtocells to their consumer subscribers, including SFR France, Softbank in Japan, and Cosmote in Greece.

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