The femtocell market has continued its steady growth in 2013 with the number of installations rising by 70% over the last year in the enterprise market with some notable deployments recently, including Telefónica in Germany and Free in France, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).
The femtocell ecosystem is also developing with more equipment providers looking to capture a share of the market which has attracted vendors from different backgrounds including ICT, core network, and in-building/DAS providers. This is reflected by the number of femtocell shipments which will increase tenfold by 2018, jumping from 3.75 million in 2013 to 37.45 million.
Now that Wi-Fi has entered the gigabit era with the new 802.11ac standard delivering total data rate of 1.3 Gbps and femtocells migrating from 3G to LTE which offers considerably higher data rates than 3G, new applications and business models are emerging.
“The market is generally promising for femtocells and Wi-Fi, and while progressively growing and advancing, both technologies are looking to serve wider markets and provide more revenue-generating applications and business models,” says Ahmed Ali, research analyst at ABI Research.
The enterprise femtocell market’s fast paced and very demanding environment has become a top target for femtocell monetization. Businesses are moving away from traditional work environments and engaging more technologies and communications trends to increase efficiency. Femtocells, while fulfilling essential voice requirements, can offer other types of services, tailored to fit different enterprise sizes and businesses, such as unified communication and mobility management services.
Location based applications and services also play a major role in developing this market demand for femtocells. Enterprise location-based applications are one of the fastest growing services and are expected to generate total revenue of $1.6 billion by 2018.
“Femtocells long-term presence in the indoor solutions market is determined by operators being able to generate revenue out of their services,” adds Ali.