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Femtocell users to approach 12m in four years

02 сентября 2009

There will be 11.8 million femtocell subscribers in Europe by 2014, a situation that will drive revenues for femtocell vendors and cost-saving for operators, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan.

Those subscribers will generate revenues of approximately €401.2 million for femtocell vendors, the analyst firm added, citing numbers from its latest European Femtocells Markets analysis.

Trial deployments will continue for the rest of this year, while the commercial launch of standards-based femtocells will come in 2010, with operators encouraged by the cost benefits promised by the technology, the firm added.

Deploying 3G services at lower frequencies – something that is happening in Europe – means individual base stations cover smaller areas, therefore more base stations are needed to meet coverage and capacity requirements. More base stations equals higher capex.

"Carriers are therefore evaluating femtocells as a solution to reduce the cost factor and enhance indoor quality of service (QoS) for 3G, considering the fact that more then 90% of mobile data services are accessed inside buildings, and the cost of 3G handsets [is] on the decline," said Frost & Sullivan programme manager Luke Thomas, in a statement.

But Thomas warned that operators will need to segment their femtocell offerings in a different way than they do mobile handsets.

"They should segment the femtocells market by price performance sensitivity factors, such as users wanting to pay less for unlimited voice and data traffic, or users who are willing to pay a premium to get better coverage inside buildings," he added.

Europe's first commercial femtocell launch came from Vodafone in July.

The operator has chosen to focus on the fact that its femtocell will provide users with better in-building coverage, although analysts believe the operator will follow up with other packages and incentives at a later date.

Источник: Total Telecom

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