With a quarter of 2011 now behind us the femtocell industry has continued to develop apace in the past month, with reports detailing significant market growth and data usage statistics highlighting the explosion in required capacity. There have also been a number of exciting operator and standards developments. Below is a selection of the most interesting announcements from the past few weeks:
- Telegeography reported that Network Norway has launched an enterprise femtocell offering – a world’s first as the femtos create a Self-Organising Network (SON) just by switching them on. This provides a highly flexible solution for any business space, with very low operational costs and points the way for future networks.
- Infonetics Research released its Q4 2G/3G/4G Femtocell Equipment report, covering regional market size, vendor market share and shipment forecasts with the prediction being femtocell shipments will top 5 million in 2012.
- Cisco published its latest Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast [PDF Link], predicting mobile data will increase by a factor of 26 by 2015. The report also details how data grew by a factor of 2.6 in 2010, whilst average smartphone monthly data usage more than doubled from 35MB to 79MB over the same period.
- Reuters reported Epitiro’s findings that WiFi typically gives a 30% slower connection than that of a fixed connection. Physical barriers and interference from the likes of microwaves were cited as the primary reasons and whilst this is rarely visible when generally surfing the web, online gaming, internet telephony and video streaming can suffer significantly.
- The Femto Forum published an industry-wide agreed set of API specifications that enable advanced mobile applications based on femtocell technology. It also worked with the Broadband Forum to update the standard for femtocell management to ensure customer equipment can be remotely updated to support advanced applications.
- What Mobile announced the winners of the Mobile News Awards 2011 this month, naming Vodafone’s Sure Signal as the winner in the ‘Most Innovative Handset’ category.
- FierceWireless reported that Sprint had 100,000 femtocells on its networks but later revised this estimate 250,000. They expect to have over a million over the coming years.
- Juniper Research reported that mobile devices will generate 14,000 petabytes in data by 2015; the equivalent of 18 billion movie downloads. The report also details how femtocells will account for an ever growing proportion of this data and will represent a flexible solution for mobile operators.
- Finally, video from the femtocell panel at Mobile World Congress has now gone live. The panel featured Femto Forum Chairman Simon Saunders, Gordon Mansfield from AT&T, Manish Singh of Continuous Computing and our very own Will Franks.
Expect to see more femtocell news in April, building on the exciting developments we saw this month, as and when it happens. Feel free to leave us a comment if you’ve spotted anything interesting too.