Femtocells: 2011 will be a breakthrough year, claims analyst firm

A sudden rush of operators committing to femtocell deployments in the last three months has given support to Informa's latest market research report stating that next year will see renewed growth for the technology.

This optimistic forecast, claims Informa, will be assisted by the entrance into the femto chipset market by Broadcom, a major developer of semiconductors for the wireless industry.

"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. Operator momentum has continued to grow over the past three months with deployment announcements in North America, Asia, Australia and Europe," said Dimitris Mavrakis, a senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

According to Mavrakis, his research indicates that the femto market will experience significant growth over the next few years, reaching just under 49 million femtocell access points worldwide by 2014 and 114 million mobile users accessing mobile networks through femtocells during that year. The analyst also maintains that healthy growth is anticipated throughout the forecast period with femtocell unit sales reaching 25 million in 2014 alone.

However, European operators still seem reluctant to move forward with femto deployments--albeit with the exception of Vodafone UK--as questions still linger over costs and the right business model.

While Informa's report mentioned increased activity over the past quarter, this involved Vodafone Australia, three Taiwanese operators, the Turkish operator Avea and UAE operator Du. To be fair, Verizon Wireless and MoldTelecom, the Moldovan incumbent, both began offering 3G femtocell services in the past quarter.

For more:
- see this Telecoms.com article

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