VoLTE is fuelling the enterprise femtocell market, new research has claimed, with the sector set to hit almost $800 million (€759.9 million) by 2020.
The report from ABI Research found that the residential femtocell market was being hit by the growth of Wi-Fi calling, but that the enterprise sector’s appetite for VoLTE and carrier aggregation picking up the slack.
Ahmed Ali, Research Analyst at ABI Research, said: “Wi-Fi calling proves disruptive for the residential market as operators look to limit cost on that segment. On the other hand, VoLTE is strengthening the business case for enterprise femtocells, aligning well with the overall LTE growth.”
He added: “Advanced LTE features accommodate enterprise’s dynamic requirements while equipping operators to provide more lucrative services. Also, vendors shift efforts back into technology development after spending time on improving site services and forming partnerships within the ecosystem.”
However, Ali warned femtocells were facing threat from in-building solutions such as Distributed Radio Systems, which are typically targeted at larger corporates. He pinpointed the likes of Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Airvana as leading that market and said its advantages include a lack of interference, ease of handover and scalability. Downsides of the tech include cost and ease of deployment.
Last week, a separate report from ABI Research said the continuing rollout of 4G would fuel a surge in the backhaul market for small cells. Microwave, millimetre wave and sub-6GHz backhaul solutions are set to overtake 3G by the end of this year.