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The global femtocell market has been forecast to explode over the next three years, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 74.76% through to 2015.
Key factors contributing to this growth include the increasing need for better network coverage along with the emergence of fixed mobile convergence services.
In telecommunications, a femtocell is a small, low-power cellular base station, typically designed for use in a home or small business. A broader term which is more widespread in the industry is small cell, with femtocell as a subset.
Femtocells are an alternative way to deliver the benefits of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). The distinction is that most FMC architectures require a new (dual-mode) handset which works with existing unlicensed spectrum home/enterprise wireless access points, while a femtocell-based deployment will work with existing handsets but requires installation of a new access point that uses licensed spectrum.
The FMC service provides connectivity between fixed and wireless telecom networks. It optimises the transmission of data, voice, and video communication. Thus, telecom operators are offering femtocell and FMC services to enterprise customers.
These services include unified communication, dual mode Wi-Fi and mobile services, and mobile private branch exchanges (PBX) extension. Although a very small percentage of telecom operators deployed dual mode 3G/Wi-Fi femtocells up to 2011, the number is expected to increase by 2015.
For a mobile operator, the attractions of a femtocell are improvements to both coverage and capacity, especially indoors. Consumers benefit from improved coverage and potentially better voice quality and battery life. Depending on the carrier they may also be offered more attractive tariffs, e.g., discounted calls from home.
Key players currently dominating the global femtocell market include, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Airvana Corp., Alcatel-Lucent, and Cisco Systems Inc.
Samsung recently leapfrogged Airvana's position at the top spot in the global femtocell market, posting an aggressive 45% revenue increase in the third quarter compared to the second quarter 2012.
Airvana recorded a double digit quarter-over-quarter decline in revenue in the third quarter, dropping it to second place.
For more information on the global femtocell market, see the latest research: Global Femtocell Market
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