Femtocells may flourish in the next five years, London consulting firm Analysys Research believes.
Companies such as Cisco Systems and Vodafone are the latest to embrace the indoor wireless technology which will ride the coattails of HSPA+ and existing 2G networks, meaning that 3G evolution and LTE won’t be as important as some advocates claim, authors Alastair Brydon, Mark Heath and Andrew Parkin-White concluded in 3G Network Evolution from 2007 to 2012: HSPA+, LTE, WiMAX and Femtocells.
Cisco’s move was to acquire UK-based femtocell specialist ip.access, while Vodafone recently began trial deployments. Such news indicates an alternative to LTE’s hype, the consultants explained: displacement of fixed network broadband services by mobile networks will be limited; femtocells are a cost-effective means of providing high-quality indoor mobile services; and MNOs will use broadcast networks to deliver mobile TV and radio services.
“The mobile industry has shown more interest in LTE than HSPA+, but the latter has greater potential over the next five years, if combined with femtocells and a broadcasting network. … For MNOs that want to benefit from the additional capabilities of LTE, it may be necessary for them to share a network in order to justify the investment,” they stated.
“The total value of network infrastructure sales could fall significantly over the next five years, leading to increased competition and consolidation. In an attempt to maintain revenue, vendors will need to broaden their product portfolios to include femtocells, broadcasting products and network-sharing solutions.”
Filed Under: Infrastructure