Infonetics research Femtocell operator survey provides glimpse into the future of femtocell services
Technology market research firm Infonetics Research has released excerpts from its Residential Femtocell Services: Global Service Provider Survey, for which carriers that have launched femtocell services or plan to by 2012 were interviewed to assess their needs and to analyze trends in the femtocell network equipment market.
“Our 2011 femtocell survey results indicate a roadmap for the evolution of the residential femtocell market toward more sophisticated usage of femtocell technology, but most operators will only be in the early phase of this journey over the next year. The femtocell as the central hub of a fully fledged mobile home network is very much a long-term scenario. In the short term, improving the existing mobile experience (namely voice coverage and consistent data throughput) is the key femto goal in the consumer space,” notes Richard Webb, directing analyst for WiMAX, microwave, and mobile devices at Infonetics Research
RESIDENTIAL FEMTOCELL SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS
. The most prominent bolt-on femto-enabled services and applications coming to market by 2012 are virtual home phone numbers and media file sharing
. 3GPP femtocells dominate the residential market now and in 2012, with W-CDMA/HSPA devices leading the charge
. The number of operators offering FD-LTE (LTE using frequency division duplexing) and WiMAX based femtocells grows from zero to 25% by 2012, significant expected growth considering neither technology has a commercially available femtocell solution yet
. Radio coverage is the most important femtocell feature for operators, of course, followed by pricing, as pricing is a vital criterion in any CPE segment because consumer sales are usually volume driven
. Significant growth is expected in integrated femtocell CPE, such as DSL or cable broadband routers and gateways with embedded femto technology
. Predominantly, operators currently offer femtocells as a one-off purchase or with a monthly outlay, but many expect to eventually bundle them with smartphones or tablets and netbooks or to give them away to select users or with select devices
FEMTOCELL SURVEY SYNOPSIS
Infonetics’ August 2011 21-page Residential Femtocell Services survey report includes analysis and carrier responses to questions about current and future femtocell technologies offered, service features, add-on services, marketing and advertising strategies, sales strategies, CPE features, purchase drivers, form factors, expected femtocell service revenue, ARPU, and femtocell subscribers.
Infonetics’ femtocell survey is based on interviews with purchase-decision makers at service providers that have launched femtocell services or plan to by 2012. Together, the carriers represent a significant 23% of worldwide telecom revenue and 22% of telecom capex and are a mix of incumbents, mobile operators, competitive operators, and cable operators from Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. To date, only 31 mobile operators have launched commercial femtocell services, with another 43 committing to do so; in this context Infonetics’ survey sample (16) represents close to 25% of the operator market.