According to Mae Kowalke, femtocells are small cellular base stations that provide enhanced coverage at the far edge of the network. They will enable wireless providers and others perhaps to provide services such as IPTV and definitely FMC.
Perhaps most importantly femtocells will allow service providers to shore up their coverage without the need for expensive towers. T-Mobile is rolling out this technology as we speak and there seems to be lots of opportunity for this market as ABI predicts that, by 2011, annual worldwide shipments of femtocell products will reach 19 million units.
Specifically, ABI predicted that “by 2011 there will be 102 million users of femtocell products on 32 million access points worldwide.”
My take? I have predicted for while that a new technology would come out soon that is better than WiFi and not quite WiMAX. I expected this to be a WiFi on multivitamins as opposed to WiMAX which would be WiFi on steroids. Femtocell could be that technology.
But the skeptical side of me wonders how any analyst can make wild claims about something so new. It is very difficult IMHO to know what the future will hold. Still I give some credit to the ABI Research team and it remains to be seen if they are on the right track.