The Femto Forum, the independent industry association that supports femtocell deployment worldwide, today published its first market status report which provides the latest information on operator deployments, the vendor ecosystem, the regulatory environment and the state of technology standards. It concludes that despite challenging economic conditions the femtocell market is on track to meet the Femto Forum's prediction for volume deployments to start in 2010.
The report provides an overview of the eight femtocell deployments worldwide by AT&T, China Unicom, NTT DOCOMO, SOFTBANK MOBILE, Sprint-Nextel, StarHub, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. Numerous advanced trials are also in place with operators globally and further deployments are expected shortly. It also provides a summary of the entire femtocell vendor ecosystem from the large multinational telecom and technology vendors to the specialist producers of semiconductors, access points, gateways, hardware components and software sub-systems.
The report also provides an update on the current state of technology standards. This includes an overview of activity in 3GPP which completed the world's first femtocell standard in April. Equipment that meets this standard will be entering the market in the coming months ahead of interoperability testing in March 2010. It also provides an insight into activity within 3GPP2 and the WiMAX Forum where standards are expected to be completed over the next 6 months. Finally, the report also provides an update on activity in national and international regulatory bodies to clarify issues of policy and regulation relating to femtocells.
"The unique ability of femtocells to provide high-quality indoor coverage, major additional capacity and interesting new services for all mobile phones is driving enormous interest from mobile operators around the world – despite the challenging economic climate. The number of deployments has exceeded my expectations and this is attributable to increased clarity around the business case – thanks to in-depth research and modelling tools – and the progress made on standards," said Simon Saunders, the Femto Forum's Chairman. "However, the rate of change in this industry introduces its own challenges and as such we are launching the first state of the market report to help the industry keep track of the latest developments."
The state of the market report will be available shortly for free at
http://www.femtoforum.org/femto/index.php?id=69 and will be updated on a quarterly basis.