3G femtocells outnumber conventional 3G basestations globally


There are now in excess of 2.3 million 3G femtocells
globally compared to 1.6 million 3G macrocells, according to Informa Telecoms
& Media.


This highlights the growing popularity of the 3G femtocell
technology. There are now 31 commercial femtocell
services worldwide which represent over 60 percent growth in deployments in the
past quarter alone.


This market growth is reflected in the fact that eight of
the top 10 mobile operator groups now offer femtocell services, which includes
AT&T Group, France Telecom Group, NTT DOCOMO Group, Sprint, Telefonica
Group, Deutsche Telecom Group, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone Group.
Furthermore, in the vast majority of these markets, the devices now outnumber
all generations of cell sites.


Informa forecasts
this growth to continue with 48 million access points in use globally by 2014.
Where last quarter Informa noted the recent growth in enterprise femtocell
usage, this quarter has been notable due to the growth in femtocells for public
access, especially as a means for speeding up mobile broadband in busy areas as
exemplified by SK Telecom’s pure data offload strategy.


The technology is also expected to grow in 4G networks
with 60 percent of operators believing that small cells will be more important
than macrocells for an effective LTE deployment strategy according to a recent
Informa survey.


Femtocells haven’t just passed a major milestone – it is
now apparent that they are rapidly becoming less of a differentiator for
service providers and more like an essential offering. Consumers are
increasingly going to expect something that for a long time seemed impossible –
near ubiquitous coverage for voice and high speed data. Femtocells make this a
very real possibility,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, senior analyst, Informa
Telecoms & Media.


Furthermore, the past quarter has also seen important
progress in femtocell technology. The first industry-wide agreed set of API
specifications for advanced mobile applications based on femtocell technology
have been published.


The API provides awareness information so developers can
incorporate enhanced presence, context and location-sensitive features into new
and existing apps, and can also take advantage of the lower cost and faster
data connections enabled by femtocells.


The expansion of the femtocell industry is also reflected
in the growing membership of the Femto Forum, the femtocell industry
association, which now includes 74 vendors and 63 mobile operators representing
over 1.71 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, across multiple wireless
technologies (WiMAX, UMTS and CDMA) and accounts for 33 percent of total mobile
subscribers worldwide.


By Telecomlead.com Team

[email protected]