Network operators typically buy their major network equipment from a small number of large equipment suppliers. For macrocells, the vast majority of the market is served by Ericsson, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens. These companies can provide a full range of services, including not just installation but financing, complete network build, and ongoing management. There has been a growing trend towards outsourcing the entire radio network operation to such companies.
In the femtocell industry you again find a small number of solution providers with whom the major operators will do business. These provide the reassurance, scale and range of services to reduce risk. Network operators seeking to trial or launch femtocells will typically have gone through an RFP (Request for Proposal) process with several of them. There are also a few smaller new entrants who have bypassed this arrangement due to special circumstances. Whether the mainstream approach will change as the market matures remains to be seen.