LONDON – The market for enterprise and consumer femtocell equipment for communications, also referred to as indoor small cells, will be flat in 2012 in terms of volumes compared with 2011, according to market research firm ABI Research.
ABI expects 2.44 million unit shipments in 2012 compared with 2.47 million units shipped in 2011 and by the end of 2012 a total of 5.3 million units will have been deployed.
"Silicon component suppliers have suggested that 1Q 2012 shipments were down 30 to 40 percent compared to 1Q 2011," said Aditya Kaul, practice director at ABI Research, in a statement.
In spite of lackluster volume shipments of residential and enterprise femtocells plaguing the indoor small cell market in 2011 and 2012, ABI Research forecasts that growth is likely to pick up from 2013 onwards.
The recent exit of Huawei from the femtocell business was evidence that the market has been under strain.
ABI believes that despite negative growth in 2012 the market will show a compound annual growth rate of 63 percent to reach almost 28 million units in 2017 with a value of $3.4 billion. Consumer femtocells are the biggest proportion of the market representing a 68 percent share of units in 2012 and expected to be 70 percent in 2017.
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