Telecom operators to deploy femtocells to improve enterprise coverage and capacity

By Telecom Lead Team: 61
percent of the operators participating in Infonetics’ survey already offer
femtocell and FMC services to enterprises, 29 percent plan to offer the services
in 2012, and 10 percent by 2013. Infonetics interviewed only operators that
currently offer femtocell and FMC services or plan to by 2013.


Femtocells top the list of technologies used to deliver
wireless indoor coverage and capacity and show the most growth between now and
2013, followed by microcells/picocells and distributed antenna systems (DAS).


While operators use multiple solutions to provide
wireless indoor coverage and capacity, femtocells are arguably the most cost
effective, and improve capacity as well as coverage, which not all alternatives
such as DAS do.


The percentage of respondent operators deploying
dual-mode 3G/WiFi femtocells jumps from 5 percent in 2011 to 38 percent in


Smaller competitive mobile operators are more advanced in
the development of their enterprise femtocell service offerings, using the
technology to target smaller businesses.


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, 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,” said Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave, mobile offload and
mobile broadband devices at Infonetics Research.


Recently, Infonetics Research announced
that global revenue from 2G and 3G femtocells used in consumer, enterprise and
public spaces grew 9 percent sequentially in the third quarter of 2011, with 2G
femtocell revenue declining and 3G femtocell revenue ramping.  A growing
number of operators are offering free femtocells to their consumer subscribers,
including SFR France, Softbank in Japan, and Cosmote in Greece.


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