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NEC targets $100 mn Femtocell business in India

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CIOL Bureau
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NEW DELHI, INDIA: Eyeing the business opportunity that is going to come up in India with 3G network roll out and increase in broadband connection, NEC Corporation has set a minimum target of achieving $100 million business from Femtocell deployment across the country.

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“Femtocell can provide coverage in remote and less populated locations at an operational cost very lower than the current business model of operators. It is like router and can be installed in a house to provide better and in-depth coverage of network,” said Anil Kohli, general manager, NEC, in an interaction with CIOL.

“We expect that broadband connection in India will reach at least 30 million by 2013. Out of this 30 million we have very conservatively put our target of one million Femtocell deployments though we will try to capture 30 per cent market share,” he said.

Kohli added that NEC would be able to make at least $100 million business from these deployments which are expected to take place in next two to three years.

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He mentioned that unlike 2G network, the upcoming 3G network will have indoor coverage issue which will disappoint customers. Therefore the company expects that 3G players will adopt Femtocell for better coverage of network.

“All the promises of video services and other data services being made by 3G players will fail if indoor coverage issues are not addressed. Femtocell is the best affordable option that 3G service provider can adopt to address such issues,” explained Kohli.

An NEC Femtocell is a small wireless cellular base station similar in size and appearance to a broadband router that connects over broadband or any other backhaul technology to a mobile operator’s core network. The NEC Femtocell provides 3G coverage and capacity for full personal use by consumers. It has “plug and play” capability that allows consumers to install an NEC Femtocell with no intervention from the operator.

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Femtocells are connected in network through Ethernet and hence the business of Femtocell will depend on broadband connection in the country. However, the Ethernet connectivity of Femtocell is service provider neutral.

According to NEC, an Internet connection of 256 kbps can support four voice calls at one time being made by people connected to it.

“The capacity can go higher but it will all depend on bandwidth. Femtocells deployment will be cost effective in case of enterprise scenario where enterprise will be able to afford cost of bandwidth and make optimum use of Femtocell capacity. SME and SOHO have been noticed as key drivers for Femtocell deployment in countries where deployment of Femtocell is on,” said Kohli.

NEC Corporation has won 8 contracts across various countries for 8 different network. However, there have been no deployment of femtocells in India till date. NEC is running trial of Femtocell with a private telecom company that has 3G spectrum and is yet to roll out 3G services. Kohli refused to reveal the name of this company.

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