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November 16, 2010
NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) today launched its 3G femtocell in India with the message that the mini base stations can help operators get their new services to customers quicker and cheaper. The move comes as most of India's 3G-license holders prepare to launch their initial 3G services, following a rapid buildout of their networks. (See India's Tata Ready for 3G Launch, Bharti Plans Pan-India 3G Launch This Year , Vodafone Unveils India 3G Timeline , and India's 3G Auction Ends, Raises $14.6B.)
The vendor, which says it's already conducting a trial with an Indian 3G operator, aims to sell more than 1 million femtocells in India during the next two years, and hopes to generate revenues of US$100 million from the business.
Why it matters
In the past, femtocells have received a lukewarm response from Indian operators. The three big carriers -- Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL), Reliance Communications Ltd. , and Vodafone India -- have been members of the Femto Forum Ltd. for some time, but have shied away from trials or deployments.
The fact that NEC is conducting a trial of its 3G femto in India signifies the country's operators might be finally warming to the mini base stations, which is also encouraging for other femto players hoping to see the Indian market take off. Initially, though, it's likely the market will be limited to business user deployments, with mass residential rollouts still some time away. (See picoChip Expands in India and ip.access Opens R&D Center in India.}
Find out more about NEC's femtocell deployments here:
Softbank Kicks Off Free Femto Giveaway
DoCoMo Seeks LTE Femto Suppliers
NEC Preps LTE Femto
France Fires Up Femtocells
Femtos Go to Norway
— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading
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