While femtocells were virtually nonexistent in 2006, and deployed by one operator in 2007, they will make up 61 percent of small cellular base station revenue by 2013, according to In-Stat research, "A Cell of Your Own: Worldwide Micro, Pico, and Femtocell Market Analysis." Microcells, picocells, and femtocells provide indoor cell phone coverage. In-Stat expects the smaller and cheaper cells to be more immune to the recession, compared with more expensive macro and micro base station shipments.
The report indicates the following:
• Femtocells, picocells, and microcells are expected to surpass 15 million units by 2013.
• Worldwide annual femtocell semiconductor revenue is expected to approach $400 million by 2013.
• Sprint was the first to market with a femtocell-based service in 2007, while others entered the market in 2008.
• In mid-2009, Airwalk introduced a new enterprise femtocell. The products are designed to combine the capacity of a traditional picocell and the ease-of-use of a femtocell.