In an update to an April 2009 femtocell shipments forecast, ABI Research has scaled down its estimates, reflecting the slower-than-expected adoption of femtocells by mobile operators. The number of shipments forecast in April for 2009 – 790,000 – has been adjusted by about 55 percent. ABI Research now believes that only about 350,000 femtocells will have shipped by the end of the year.

“Even femtocell vendors are a bit surprised that the operators haven’t pushed femtocells as much or as soon as expected,” said practice director Aditya Kaul, in a statement. “We expect that deployments in 2010 will pick up but will be slower than expected – our data suggests about a 40 percent reduction on previous estimates.”

All the large operators in the United States have femtocell offerings including AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Vodafone in the UK also has a femtocell service and recently China Unicom announced its femto offering.

Kaul points to several factors for the slow uptake: the general economic malaise, which makes the $150 pricetag of an unsubsidized femtocell harder to swallow; the time operators need to get their systems and networks ready for a femtocell deployment; and a fear in some quarters that a rapid increase in femtocell numbers would cause interference in the macro network.

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FCC Awards 2.5GHz Licenses to Tribes

The FCC formally granted 154 applications submitted through its 2.5GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window. Those applicants will be able to use the 2.5GHz band to provide broadband and other advanced wireless

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