Semiconductor player Broadcom Corporation has
agreed to acquire Percello Ltd., a privately held company that develops
system-on-a-chip solutions for femtocells. The deal, which has been valued at
about $86 million, will enable Broadcom to lower its costs for femtocells and
make it possible for the company to bring products to market faster.
The move to deploy more femtocells by both wireless
carriers and multichannel providers over the next few years could speed the
availability of high quality video on mobile devices.
Femtocells are small low power base stations that
extend mobile coverage indoors where signals are weak, allowing users to
continue using their mobile devices without losing connectivity. Installation
of femtocells enables wireless carriers to offload both data and voice traffic
by connecting mobile devices to fixed line broadband or phone services,
providing more bandwidth for higher quality video and other services and
offering subscribers better cell reception in home or office.
"Percello's energy-efficient and cost-optimized
femtocell architecture augments our portfolio of highly integrated solutions
for broadband connectivity and provides significant benefits for our customers
and end users," said Greg Fischer, vice president and general manager of
Broadcom's Broadband Carrier Access line of business, in a statement. "As
wireless data usage continues to expand, this technology is well-positioned to
enable wireless carriers to offload both data and voice traffic, while offering
subscribers better cell reception in the home and office and accelerating the
instruction of new ‘converged' mobile broadband services."
ABI Research is expecting more than 50 million
femtocells to be shipped in 2015, up from more than 1 million in 2010. "This is
driven by the consumers' desire to be connected at all times, the need for
increased data capacity in networks coupled with wireless service providers
deploying fast, simple and cost effective upgrades to support base stations and
accelerate the introduction of advanced services like presence and location
based alerts, multimedia syncing and sharing, smart phone applications and
enhanced mobile video services to their subscribers," said Aditya Kaul,
practice director, mobile networks at ABI Research.