Infonetics chartIt’s a tight battle in the femtocell market, but in the first quarter of this year, Airvana was able to climb back over Samsung as the revenue market share leader in North America.

According to a recent report by Infonetics Research, Alcatel-Lucent was able to move ahead of Cisco/ip.access for the third spot on the market share leader board.

"A slight dip in 3G femtocell revenue per unit held back overall revenue growth in the femtocell market in the first part of the year, but price erosion is an important factor that will drive long-term volume growth," said Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave, mobile offload and mobile broadband devices at Infonetics Research. "Femtocell price erosion is due to a combination of factors, including new component suppliers entering the fray, manufacturing efficiencies and the continuing scale-up of femtocell shipment volumes.

"We remain cautiously optimistic that femtocells have sufficient market drivers and support among operators to sustain year-over-year growth through 2016."

Other highlights from the femtocell equipment report included:

  • Following a 20 percent surge the previous quarter, global 2G and 3G femtocell revenue dipped almost 3 percent in the first quarter of this year, even as femtocell unit shipments grew 14 percent.
  • The makeup of global femtocell revenue is shifting radically: Between 2011 and 2016, Infonetics projects the share of consumer femtocells to shrink from 74 percent of the total market to 30 percent, while public space femtocell share will triple to 25 percent, and enterprise femtocell revenue share will grow the most, making up almost half of the global market by 2016.
  • More than 45 operators are now live with commercial femtocell deployments, and the Small Cell Forum reported that as of December, there were more than 3 million active femtocells privately in homes and offices and publicly in metropolitan and rural environments.