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High Speed Mobile Data Service Demand

High speed packet access (HSPA) will be a key driver behind future wireless femtocell adoption, according to the latest market study by Infonetics Research.

Once users adopt high speed mobile data services, their report contends, subscribing to a femtocell service could follow to ensure coverage and capacity consistency for services delivered to the home or office.

"When HSPA becomes more widely available, mobile broadband adoption will get an extra push. Femtocells, in turn, should see an uptick in adoption, as they provide consistent indoor wireless coverage and give mobile operators a stronger positioning in the home broadband network," said Richard Webb, directing analyst at Infonetics Research.

Once launched, femtocells offered with home-zone tariffs could be seen as a recession-buster deal for consumers seeking to reduce mobile voice call charges, and the early market could see decent growth, despite the prevailing economic climate.

Highlights from the Infonetics study include:

- Despite being a commercially available technology with numerous products on the market, mobile operators continue to adopt a cautious approach to femtocells due to the technology and business model challenges yet to be overcome.

- Major strides have been made in 2008 for a femtocell standard, with the industry achieving consensus -- driven by the Femto Forum -- regarding the Iu-h interface between the femtocell and the femtocell gateway/mobile core network.

- 2009 is expected to be the first year of significant traction for the femtocell and femtocell gateway markets.

- UMA, once thought to be competitive with femtocells, is likely to be a driver for femtocell adoption, with mobile operators expected to offer dual mode FMC services with cheap or free voice calls and enhanced 3G coverage via UMA-based femtocells.

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