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Femtocell market to reach 49m units by 2014

17 февраля 2010

 The number of Femtocell access points in the market is expected to grow to 49 million units by 2014, with an estimated 114 million users accessing services through mobile gateways, according to forecasts released on Tuesday by Informa Telecoms & Media.

The analyst firm said during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that 12 operators have now committed to rolling out femtocells, which includes nine commercial launches and a number of ongoing trials. This compares to eight femtocell commitments and six commercial launches as of November 2009.

A number of femtocell equipment vendors have reported a recent up-tick in demand.

"We have already shipped more semiconductors into femtocells this year than in the whole of 2009," said Rupert Baines, vice president of marketing at picoChip.

Will Franks, Co-founder and CTO of femtocell manufacturer Ubiquisys, said his company is currently "working on the ramp-up to mass market femtocell deployments".

French operator SFR, China Unicom and Portugal's Optimus all commercially launched femtocell offers in the last quarter, with Japanese operator KDDI and France's free also committing to the technology.

"We're seeing growth on all continents," said Julian Bright, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media.

Vodafone in January re-branded and re-launched its own U.K. femtocell offer at a lower price point, changing the name from Vodafone Access Gateway to Sure Signal.

"The Vodafone re-launch was probably the big story of the year so far," said Bright.

"The initial launch was very cautious but they have come back to the market with a very compelling offer," he said.

For now, operators launching femtocells are pitching them on the promise of better indoor coverage, but the industry body representing femtocell makers says it is already preparing for when the market matures.

"We're currently working on frameworks for application processing interfaces (APIs)," said Andy Germano, vice chairman of the Femto Forum

He explained that applications specifically aimed for femtocell users can either be Internet-based, or reside in an operator's IMS application server, or on the gateway itself.

"Services are the icing on the cake for femtocells," he said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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