Enterprises to make up 97% of the femtocell market by 2019, predicts ABI

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Enterprises will make up a whopping 97 percent of the $4.3 billion femtocell market in 2019, far outpacing residential femtocells, according to the latest stats from ABI Research.

Femtocells are used by enterprises to provide cellular service inside buildings as well as data offloading for the macro network.  

"The femtocell business model becomes clear for small and medium enterprises. The cost of a distributed antenna system cannot be justified for these firms, but yet there is an increasing demand for voice services," says Ahmed Ali, research analyst at ABI Research.

As femtocell base station prices come down, vendors will need to provide value-added services, such as location-based analytics, to generate revenues. "Although enterprise femtocells cost more and deploy in larger numbers, in the long term, device prices are bound to come down. Operators will look for additional customized services to maintain margins," says Ali.

There is a shift under way toward multimode femtocells that provide 3G and 4G cellular service, particularly in the North American market. Vendors offering multimode femtocells include Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent and Broadcom, notes ABI.

Infonetics Research shares ABI's view on the increasing popularity of femtocells for enterprise deployment, which is being driven by demand for 4G LTE technology.

"Residential femtocells still account for the bulk of the market, though from this point forward we will see increasing adoption of femtocells from the enterprise segment, which is a key focus for a growing number of operators," says Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave and carrier Wi-Fi at Infonetics.

For more:
- check out the ABI release
- see Infonetics release

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