Base stations and their microchips aren’t the market they used to be, so tough times are ahead for such vendors, In-Stat said in its latest wireless industry research today.
“Base station semiconductor revenue will decline an average of 12.3% per year from 2008 to 2012,” the research firm said. Some markets are nearing saturation while most major carriers are already done upgrading networks for 3G connections. There’s also a focus on making existing base stations more efficient by using new kinds of remotely adjustable antennas.
“The global recession will also have an impact. Although most people aren’t likely to part with their cell phones, they may replace them less often, and reduce services they don’t find value in or can’t afford,” analyst Allen Nogee added.
Revenue from W-CDMA may still grow, although base station chips overall are a declining market, he found.
Conversely, IMS Research says the Bluetooth chip market is on the rise. Average selling prices will fall 40% through 2013 as volumes increase for low-end phones, analyst Chris Shreck said yesterday.
That’s good news for major companies like Broadcom and CSR, as long-term sales of upcoming high-speed Bluetooth chips will make up the difference. But it may be more work for smaller challengers to keep up, he said.
Bluetooth as a mobile phone feature today is “surprisingly not ubiquitous, but it’s certainly headed in that direction,” he noted.