Percentage of telecom operators deploying public space femtocells to grow to 44% in 2012 from 28% in 2011


Telecom Lead Team:
percent of mobile operators interviewed by Infonetics have already deployed
small cells such as microcells and picocells, and the remaining will deploy
them by the end of 2012, a qualification for participating in the survey.


coverage and data optimization are the top-rated drivers for operators
deploying femtocells/small cells, followed by the non-expandability of the
macro network due to the increasing difficulty of adding new cell sites.


61 percent of
the operators see potential interferences with the macrocell network as the top
technical challenge when deploying small cells. 50 percent rate it as a strong
barrier to adopting small cells.


The percentage
of mobile operators deploying public space femtocells is growing from 28
percent in late 2011 to 44 percent in 2012 to improve mobile coverage and
capacity in large areas of high footfall, such as retail malls, airports, and
public buildings.


The rise of
carrier-WiFi (SIM-based WiFi access points that enable seamless handover
between WiFi and cellular networks) could inhibit the opportunity for public
space femtocells for offloading data from the macro network.


Femtocells are
growing beyond their original residential target market, moving into public
space coverage, and becoming a full member of the small cells set.


Our survey
reflects the fact that we are at the beginning of the mobile world’s transition
from macro-centric to the next generation environment of small cells augmenting
the macro RAN as mobile operators attempt to deliver ubiquitous coverage and
high capacity in areas of dense user population and high broadband usage,” said
Richard Webb, directing analyst for mobile offload and mobile broadband devices
at Infonetics Research.


For its
femtocell coverage strategies survey, Infonetics Research interviewed mobile
operators from around the world that have deployed small cells such as
microcells, picocells, and/or public space femtocells or plan to in 2012.


Infonetics predicted
that operators already offload about 10 percent of their traffic over indoor
and outdoor small cells, WiFi hotspots, and residential femtocells. They intend
to triple that to about 30 percent at some point in 2013 or later. By 2013, a
majority of mobile operators and transport providers will have over 90 percent
of their cell sites connected with IP/Ethernet.


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