Idate: Femtocells - 18 Million UMTS Femtocells Are Expected At 2011



    MONTPELLIER, FRANCE, November 26 /CNW/ - Femtocells have seemingly gone
from cult to mainstream in the space of a year. Despite this, no femtocells
have been deployed commercially and considerable hurdles must be overcome
before units can be rolled out on a wide-scale basis.

    As such, the approach of this report carried out by IDATE, is to present
the views of leading experts from the vendor and operator communities, as well
as a summary of the activities of all concerned in bringing femtocells to
market. It is hoped that this will provide an effective overview of the market
as it stands now, albeit one that is necessarily incomplete and a work in
progress.

    IDATE expects to see the femtocell market developing rapidly over the
following years. While a lack of agreed standards and outstanding technical
issues will inhibit major rollouts in 2008, network integration issues are
likely to be solved by 2009.Coupled with cost reductions this should lead to a
ramp up in volumes in 2009/2010. IDATE believes 10 million UMTS femtocells
will be shipped in 2010, rising to 18 million in 2011.

    Femtocell Timelines...

    --  Despite the uncertainty, commercial femtocell roll outs grow ever
closer. Following RFQs (Request for Quotes) from major mobile operators, a
number of femtocell contract awards are expected to be signed in 2007/2008,
with the first major network trials likely to be held in early- 2008. Initial
commercial deployments will be made in 2008, though wide-scale commercial roll
outs will not take place until 2009. A very significant ramp-up is expected in
2010.

    --  Operators interested in the mass deployment of femtocells include
AT&T, Telefonica O2 Group, SoftBank, Sprint, TMobile and Vodafone, with more
names added to the list on a regular basis. From a vendor perspective, while
femtocells were previously largely the preserve of specialist start-up
companies such as ip.access, considerable interest is now being shown by most
if not all of the major equipment vendors.

    Femtocell Definition...

    --  Essentially, femtocells are small, lowcost, low-capacity residential
2G (second generation) or 3G (third generation) base stations which enable
users to communicate across any IP (Internet protocol) access network using -
crucially - a standard mobile handset. In terms of appearance and price there
are significant similarities to wireless routers or wifi access points.

    --  Architecturally, residential femtocells are connected via the
customer's broadband DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) or cable to the mobile
network where a controller then aggregates the traffic. Using broadband as the
backhaul, the femtocell is able to provide voice and data services in the same
way as a regular base station, but with the benefits of a simple and cheap
installation, low unit cost and scalable design.

    --  This far, most focus has been on UMTS (Universal Mobile
Telecommunications System) 3G femtocells, though the technology can also be
applied to CDMA- 2000 as well as 2G and WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for
Microwave Access) standards. There is, however, a key reason why 3G femtocells
have drawn most attention: to a greater extent than is the case with 2G, 3G
does not work well in residential areas, which represents a significant factor
in the poor levels of 3G take-up and usage to date. Femtocells, by adding
coverage inside the building, are highly effective at overcoming 'cell
shrinkage', whereby indoor mobile users lose power as the signal travels
through the wall, with the result that capacity and coverage is consumed from
the rest of the cell in a disproportionate way.

    About IDATE

    Founded in 1977, IDATE is one of Europe's foremost market analysis and
consulting firms, whose mission is to provide assistance in strategic
decision-making for its clients in the Telecom, Internet and Media industries.
IDATE has also been instrumental in providing a forum for debate amongst the
markets' key players, notably thanks to the IDATE Foundation, the DigiWorld
Summit and the Communications & Strategies Review.

    Consulting - IDATE has established its credibility and independence in
conducting consultancy and study assignments on behalf of its clients:

    --  Benchmarking: evaluation, modelling and forecasts, sector-specific
analyses, surveys

    --  International benchmarking: positioning studies, strategic and
competition analyses

    --  Strategic assistance

    --  Public policies: public policy definition and assessment, project
management, regulatory benchmarking

    Research - IDATE'S clients benefit from the knowledge and expertise of
its teams of specialists, and from its ongoing investment in its Digiworld
information and strategic monitoring system - a veritable digital world
observatory - along with access to a singular array of market reports, data,
analyses and support services:

    --  Market reports: Atlas, Analysis & Focus Collections

    --  Quarterly updates: analyses and databases

    --  Monthly memo service: Executive Notes

    --  Annual round-up: the DigiWorld Yearbook

    --  Hotline : permanent support from IDATE analysts

    --  Customised seminars: Strategic Briefing




For further information:

For further information: Presse & Technologies Philippe Grand,
pgrand@pressetech.fr or Emmanuelle Renauld, erenauld@pressetech.fr Tel : 01 56
56 64 64 or IDATE Jean Dominique Seval Directeur commercial et Marketing,
jd.seval@idate.org Tel : 04 67 14 44 07

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