Wi-Fi Calling Stymies Residential Femtocells but Enterprise Leads the Femtocell Market to US$800 Million

09 Apr 2015

​Operators, equipment vendors, and enterprise customers are all on the same page when it comes to indoor solutions; they need advanced equipment to meet the growing demands and create opportunities for new revenue streams. As the residential femtocell market craters, enterprise femtocells will drive overall growth to almost US$800 million by 2020, according to ABI Research.

The year 2014 witnessed vendors like Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, and Ericsson debuting new enterprise small cells with LTE-A capabilities like carrier aggregation, VoLTE, and LAA. “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,” comments Ahmed Ali, Research Analyst at ABI Research.

However, technical innovation, especially voice related, moves the femtocell market segments in different directions. “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,” continues Ali.

Although femtocell solutions make a strong case for small-to-medium enterprise, there is fierce competition from other in-building solutions to capture the medium-to-large enterprise market. The Distributed Radio System (DRS), in particular, has established a growing market with solutions from major small cell vendors like Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Airvana. A DRS solves problems that arise from clustering small cells including interference, handover, and scalability. Yet conventional femtocell networks still maintain the advantage in terms of cost and ease of deployment.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Enterprise and Consumer Femtocells Market Research,which includes Research Reports, Market Data, Insights, and Competitive Assessments covering regional shipments and deployments in addition to standardization process, major vendor solutions and recent trends.

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