Femtocells offer a cost-effective means of improving indoor cellular coverage. But picocells have offered the same thing, for a longer time, with relatively low "market traction." One of the reasons, according to market researchers at ABI Research, has been that operators have avoided picocells and their relatively high cost while waiting for the availability of lower-cost femtocells.

According to ABI Research senior analyst Aditya Kaul, "One major reason for picocells’ low penetration has been their high total cost of ownership. Picocells are mostly operated and maintained by mobile operators, and every installation and service call costs them money. Many operators underestimated these costs when they initially opted for picocells." The new report, "Picocells," details that there is a limited-time opportunity for picocells to secure a larger market, but only by taking advantage of technology and cost advantages offered by 3G picocells.

ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com)