Femtocells Struggle To Catch On - InformationWeek
03:16 PM

Femtocells Struggle To Catch On

The economy and the lack of carrier marketing are sapping demand for femtocells, according to ABI Research.

The market for femtocells in 2009 is not as strong as expected, and ABI Research said Thursday it would be scaling down its estimates for the space by about 55%.

Femtocells are essentially miniature cell phone towers that tie the owner's wired Internet connection to a mobile operator's network, and can boost cellular and mobile data reception within a home or office. These devices are being advertised to consumers to help reception, as well as to enterprises as a plank in their fixed-mobile convergence strategies. AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless have all released commercial femtocells, or devices that offer femtocell-like abilities, but ABI estimates only about 350,000 femtocells will be shipped by the end of the year.

The global economic recession likely plays a role, ABI said, as many of these devices are not subsidized and can cost up to $250, and some also come with monthly service fees. ABI also said the carriers are still working on their pricing tiers, as well as taking time to ramp up distribution plans and marketing campaigns.

"Even femtocell vendors are a bit surprised that the operators haven't pushed femtocells as much or as soon as expected," said ABI practice director Aditya Kaul in a statement. "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."

The research firm expects the market to pick up some steam over the next five years or so, and its 2014 shipping estimates are only about 10% lower than previous forecasts. Next year will be critical though, as ABI said if conditions don't improve by the end of 2010, "some of the smaller vendors may find themselves in trouble."

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on smartphone security. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll