Femtocell shipment estimates cut by 55%
Better luck next year?
ABI Research cut its April 2009 forecast because of slower than expected uptake.
“Even femtocell vendors are a bit surprised that the operators haven’t pushed femtocells as much or as soon as expected,” says practice director Aditya Kaul. “We expect that deployments in 2010 will pick up but will be slower than expected – our data suggests about a 40% reduction on previous estimates.”
All the large US operators have femtocell offering, including AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Vodafone in the UK also has a femtocell service and recently China Unicom announced its femto offering.
Kaul says there are a number of reasons why uptake has been slow, including the economy; the $150 pricetag of an unsubsidised femtocell: the time it is taking operators to ready their networks and devise pricing plans; and concerns about interference in the macro network.
“We still believe in this market’s potential," said Kaul. "We anticipate that by 2014, shipments will only be about 10% lower than our previous estimates. The drivers are real, but it will take longer than anticipated. Next year will be critical: if conditions don’t improve by the end of 2010, some smaller vendors may find themselves in trouble.”