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Femtocells Deployed on Three Continents as Major Survey Charts 50% Consumer Interest in US

The Femto Forum, the independent industry association promoting femtocell deployments worldwide, today held its first press conference at CES, Las Vegas to highlight the massive consumer market potential for femtocell technology globally.

“We’ve made the case for femtocells to the telco community, but with commercial deployments in the US, Europe and Asia the time is right to reach out to new audiences,” said Professor Simon Saunders, Chairman of the Femto Forum. “CES is the first stop of a global road show showcasing the huge opportunities this technology represents not just for carriers, but for consumer electronics players, developers, content providers and of course consumers.”

Femtocells are plug-and-play wireless access points that connect standard mobile devices to a mobile network using broadband connections. They are rapidly gaining traction as the missing link that finally delivers true convergence to the digital home. That traction is demonstrated by the fast increase of operators’ launches across three continents and recently backed up by a market survey from ABI Research showing that more than 50% of US consumers are interested in a femtocell in their home. Femtocells not only resolve 3G coverage, capacity and cost issues in a single package, they also provide consumers with a dramatically improved mobile experience indoors.

One of the key messages the Forum’s road show promotes is that it expects femtocell technology to coexist alongside existing platforms like Wi-Fi to provide consumers with the means of managing rapidly growing indoor wireless data usage. Individuals will choose which technology to adopt depending on their circumstances and priorities.

“We’re launching our outreach initiative at CES because this is where people understand how the recent success of iPhone and appstore launches from carriers and handset manufacturers represents a turning point in the significance of applications for both consumers and the mobile industry,” said Andy Germano, Vice-Chair of the Femto Forum. “We’re here to explain to how femtocells transform application development, removing many of the constraints currently faced by mobile developers.”

By adding the potential to build high bandwidth and location-aware applications, femtocells enable the creation of a wide range of innovative and differentiated services.

The market potential for femtocells is best exemplified by the increasing participation of operator members in the Femto Forum. There are now a total of 55 operators in the 120 member Femto Forum currently representing over 1.4 billion mobile subscribers worldwide across multiple wireless technologies (WiMAX, UMTS and CDMA). There are currently nine commercial deployments by major carriers worldwide, with numerous advanced trials expected to lead to further deployments later this year.

Femto Forum membership encompasses the entire femto ecosystem including carriers, innovative start ups, chip designers and manufacturers, and some of the world’s leading consumer electronics companies.

About The Femto Forum

Femtocells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum to connect standard mobile devices to a mobile operator's network using a residential DSL, cable modem or other broadband backhaul connection. The Femto Forum (www.femtoforum.org) was established in 2007 to promote the wide-scale adoption of femtocells. The Forum supports and drives the adoption of industry standards and common architectures to enable the widespread adoption and deployment of femtocells by operators around the world. It directs and implements a multi-faceted program to raise the profile, drive technology development and deployment and promote the potential of femto solutions among industry stakeholders, journalists, analysts, regulators, special interest groups, standards bodies and consumers.

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