Informa Telecoms & Media has calculated that 3G femtocells now outnumber conventional 3G basestations. In fact, its latest report calculates there are more than 2.3 million 3G femtocells around the world compared to 1.6 million 3G macrocells (conventional base stations).
This growth is expected to continue, with 48 million femtocells predicted globally by 2014. As well as being chosen by businesses and consumers to improve in-building coverage, femtocells are increasingly being used by networks to speed up mobile broadband in busy areas.
Dimitris Mavrakis, Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said “Femtocells haven’t just passed a major milestone - it is now apparent that they are rapidly becoming less of a differentiator for service providers and more like an essential offering. Consumers are increasingly going to expect something that for a long time seemed impossible - near ubiquitous coverage for voice and high speed data. Femtocells make this a very real possibility.”
The Femto Forum, the femtocell industry association, now includes 74 vendors and 63 mobile operators representing over 1.71 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.