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Femtocell market set for strong growth in 2011

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According to Informa Telecoms & Media's new quarterly market status report, the femtocell market is set for renewed growth next year following the entrance of major semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom and deployment commitments by six operators in the last quarter alone.

The past three months saw the first major acquisition in the femtocell industry with Broadcom's purchase of Israeli semiconductor start-up Percello, which both validates the market and serves to drive competition in the space. There has also been a spate of operator deployment announcements with Vodafone Australia, three Taiwanese operators (Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone), Turkish operator Avea and UAE operator Du all committing to femtocell deployments in 2011. Additionally, Verizon Wireless and MoldTelecom, the Moldovan incumbent, both began actively offering 3G femtocell services in the past quarter.

"All the signs indicate femtocells are set to have a strong 2011 as both the operator and vendor communities continue to get behind the technology. Operator momentum has continued to grow over the past three months with deployment announcements in North America, Asia, Australia and Europe. Perhaps of even greater significance is the entrance of semiconductor heavyweight Broadcom into the market, bringing considerable mass consumer electronics clout into this network infrastructure business," said Dimitris Mavrakis, Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Informa Telecoms & Media expects the femtocell market to experience significant growth over the next few years, reaching just under 49 million femtocell access points (FAP) in the market by 2014 and 114 million mobile users accessing mobile networks through femtocells during that year. Healthy growth is anticipated throughout the forecast period with femtocell unit sales reaching 25 million in 2014 alone.

The expansion of the femtocell industry is also reflected in the growing membership of the Femto Forum, the femtocell industry association, which now includes 72 vendors and 58 mobile operators representing over 1.71 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, across multiple wireless technologies (WiMAX, UMTS and CDMA) and accounts for 33% of total mobile subscribers worldwide.

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Tags: femtocell  broadcom  wireless