Zero to 100 million users in five years is pretty rapid growth.
But that's what In-Stat analyst Allen Nogee is predicting as the number of femtocell users five years out. And that's not all. Nogee also thinks the installed base of femtocells will hit 40.6 million in the next four years. (See Femtocells critical for triple play, says analyst).
There's no doubt that femtocells are a promising technology. Having your very own mobile communications basestation in your home will solve a lot of problems. Nogee thinks that femtocell technology is critical if triple-play networks (voice, data, streaming media) are going to succeed in the near term.
And now we have Cambridge Consultants, a design house in the UK, coming up with a reference design that it claims will bring the cost of a femtocell down considerably. Cambridge Consultants has used a highly parallel DSP developed by picoChipanother UK companyin the design. (See 3G basestation design leverages femtocell technology).
BTDi, which is perhaps the most authoritive voice among DSP consultants, has given picoChip a positive review. (See Analysis: picoChip defies the odds).
With all this good press, it seems like picoChip is not likely to be stopped. But the company (and the concept) still has a few hurdles such as standardization and convincing mobile carriers that they need to take a lead of faith.
In the meantime, I wonder what TI is thinking. And Intel, for that matter. There's a lot of market clout to be heard from yet.