According to an Analysys Research report, indoor base stations (femtocells) are set to cause fundamental changes in the cellular industry and will drive fixed–mobile substitution.
The report, Picocells and Femtocells: will indoor base stations transform the telecoms industry, draws on interviews from a range of indoor base station experts and vendors in Europe and the USA and describes how indoor base stations may be used across different wireless technologies, assesses the business case for their application and identifies the issues that need to be resolved to enable widespread deployment.
Key findings of the report include:
- Indoor base stations can be applied to a number of wireless technologies, including 2G, 3G, 3G LTE, WiMAX and WiBro, but 3G femtocells present the greatest opportunity.
- There is a compelling business case for mobile operators to deploy femtocells, based on ARPU growth, cost savings and churn reduction. Indoor base stations can provide a less expensive alternative to traditional outdoor cellular infrastructure for providing in building coverage.
- Femtocells will accelerate the migration of voice traffic from fixed to mobile networks, until 3G networks carry the majority of voice traffic. Femtocells will undermine the case for converged cellular-WLAN services (for example, based on UMA) by enabling very similar tariffs without the need for dedicated handsets.