LTE femtocells are driving the growth of the small cells market, as operators deploy them to support the rolling out of macro networks, new research has claimed.
According to a report from Infonetics Research, global sales of femtocell and enterprise small cells were worth €105.6 million in the quarter until the end of March 2014, up six percent on the previous quarter.
W-CDMA femotcells continued to dominate unit shipments but it was LTE femtocells who drove growth and gave the best ARPU for vendors.
The four main vendors in this area were Airvana, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, and ip.access.
Residential shipments had a 59 percent share of the market. Integrated femtocells has an eight percent share of the market in the first quarter, although Infonetics said they would grow to account for a third of all unit shipments by 2018, mainly in the residential market.
According to Richard Webb, Directing Analyst for Mobile Backhaul and Small Cells at Infonetics, these small cell segments have sufficient market drivers and support among operators to sustain continuous year-over-year unit and revenue growth through 2018.
He commented: "4G macro network deployments are underway in many places, and operators are starting to launch 4G-based femtocells to augment mobile broadband services. Boosted by enterprise small cell adoption kicking in to help mobile operators support enterprise-specific voice and data offerings, we believe 4G femtocell and enterprise small cell revenue will climb to $2.3 billion in 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 77 percent from 2013 to 2018."