SOURCE: Infonetics Research

April 22, 2008 13:29 ET

Infonetics Research: Femtocell access point market: great potential, tough hurdles

LONDON--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - Many factors are converging to create a market ripe for femtocell technology, says a new report from analyst firm Infonetics Research called Femtocell Access Points Market Size and Forecasts. Chief among these factors:

--  Mounting numbers of mobile subscribers, forecast by Infonetics to hit
    4.4 billion worldwide in 2011
--  A booming broadband market, driven by demand for faster Internet
    connection speeds and applications like social networking, online gaming,
    and multimedia
--  Mobile operators seeking to boost revenue by enticing customers to pay
    for new data services to offset escalating mobile backhaul costs and voice
    revenue losses

Femtocell access points are deployed within a home or in-building to enhance the signal coverage of GSM/GPRS, CDMA, or 3G macrocellular base stations. Femtocell access points backhaul mobile traffic over an IP network connection (typically a DSL line), and could significantly reduce operational costs for mobile operators, as well as reduced customer churn, the report says.

"There's great potential for the femtocell access point market because they meet 2 very important needs of mobile operators: they're a less expensive way to backhaul network traffic, and they provide more consistent coverage and Internet speeds indoors, which is increasingly important for bandwidth-sensitive applications. Still, there are tough hurdles the market needs to overcome. Femtocells are an unproven business model and lack standardization, which could inhibit adoption in the short term. There are also technical challenges to overcome, including interference, scalability, and management issues, and the cost to end-users, which likely won't drop below $100 per unit until 2009 or 2010," said Richard Webb, directing analyst for WiMAX, WiFi and mobile at Infonetics Research.

Other highlights from the report:

--  4Q07 was the first quarter of commercial femtocell activity, launched
    by Sprint in North America; the service, Airave, is based on Samsung
    UbiCell femtocell
--  The more widespread availability of HSDPA (and later, HSUPA) is
    driving adoption of mobile broadband, which in turn is a driver for
    femtocell adoption
--  There is opportunity for 2G femtocells in developing countries, driven
    by cheaper mobile voice calls within the home, but this is not likely to be
    a booming market compared to 3G
--  3G femtocells could have far-reaching consequences for the telecoms
    industry; potentially, femtocells could allow mobile network operators to
    make notable reductions in investment in conventional 3G macrocellular
    networks and dedicated broadcasting networks (such as DVB-H)

Infonetics' report provides market size, forecasts, and analysis of the worldwide and regional femtocell access point (AP) market, including GSM/GPRS femtocell APs, 3G femtocell APs (split by W-CDMA and CDMA2000), and mobile subscribers (split by 2G/2.5G GSM, W-CDMA, 2G/2.5G CDMA, CDMA2000).

For report highlights, log in to Infonetics' online portal from (see Wireless and FMC area). For sales, contact Larry Howard, vice president, at or +1 (408) 583-3335.

Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm specializing in telecom and data networking. Services include quarterly market share and forecasting, end-user survey research, service provider survey research, and service provider capex analysis.

Contact Information

  • Press Contact:
    Richard Webb
    Directing Analyst, WiMAX, WiFi, and Mobile Devices
    Infonetics Research
    +1 (408) 583-3369
    +44 (0) 1689-851-618
    Email Contact