Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Infonetics: Femtocell Market Start to Take Off

Worldwide revenue from 2G and 3G femtocells sold for use in CDMA, W-CDMA/HSPA, and CDMA2000/EV-DO networks grew 121.5% and the number of units sold for revenue grew 204% in 2010 over 2009 from a small base, according to a recently released report from Infonetics Research.

"Traction is coming to the femtocell market, but slowly: with over 1.37 million units shipped in 2010 for revenue (not including non-revenue shipments for trials and soft launches), the market is now underway, but through 2011 there will still be too few operators active in this space to drive rapid acceleration. We expect this to come in 2012, when femtocell shipments should exceed 5 million worldwide, driven by a diversification from the consumer and enterprise segments to rural and public spaces," predicts Richard Webb, directing analyst for WiMAX, microwave, and mobile devices at Infonetics Research.

Some additional highlights:

  • The number of femtocell units sold doubled between 4Q09 and 4Q10

  • Quarter-over-quarter, the number of femtocell units sold increased 21% and revenue grew just 1% in 4Q10 over 3Q10, reflecting the decline in unit prices.

  • Samsung took the #1 spot in femtocell revenue market share in 4Q10, followed closely by Alcatel-Lucent and NEC.

  • As the femtocell market evolves and more operators launch services, strong fluctuations in market share and leaderboard positions are expected.

  • Femtocell average revenue per unit (ARPU) will continue to erode, with the industry focused on the magic number of US$100, expected to be reached in 2011 (some vendors have already achieved this).

  • As of early 2011, no next-generation 4G (WiMAX or LTE) femtocell services have been deployed, but tier 1 mobile operators have expressed the view that LTE and subsequent high-capacity air interfaces are most likely to be deployed through hierarchical cell structures, including femtocells.

Infonetics' quarterly 2G/3G/4G Femtocell Equipment report provides worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts, and analysis for revenue, units, and ARPU of 2G femtocells (CDMA) and 3G femtocells (W-CDMA/HSPA and CDMA2000/EV-DO), and will include 4G femtocells when commercially available. http://www.infonetics.com