Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Femto business case - for operators and end users i.e you?!

What Femto customers get for their money, at least at the start, is better indoor coverage, but service providers intends to launch more advanced services later.

Service Providers benefit by:

  • Better indoor coverage
  • Cost-efficient capacity increases
  • Macrocell offload
  • Subsidized backhaul

Analysts like Juniper Research are bullish enough on the femto story to project $9 billion in new revenues for cell companys by 2014.

End user - you - will benefit by:

  • Better indoor coverage
  • Useful and popular applications - a killer one to be rolled out from appstores
Eg. UX-Zone- a femto app for the Android platform that automatically changes the UI of your Android handset as you enter the femto zone to reflect available services that you wouldn't use in the macro network, like automatically uploading photos to your digital picture frame.
Eg.Virtual fridge notes, an app from ip.access that delivers messages to family members when they get home and can include ones posted via Facebook. See Demo femto-cell-application-at-your-home
A special interest group(SIG) from Femto Forum, aims to develop a common app platform that works across multiple vendors and operators, as well as create open APIs for apps developers to allow their software to run on various devices.

Femto - Other perspectives cites reports that Kineto Wireless is hoping to use femtocells in conjunction with its unlicensed mobile access (UMA) software that knits together cellular and unlicensed wireless services.

It also reports about the competition to femtocells against repeaters. 3G and 4G signals generally use higher frequencies than 2G and 2.5G, and thus will have even more trouble inside structures. Repeaters and femtocells both improve inside coverage, albeit in different ways. Femtocells,add capacity to the macro network while repeaters simply enable the network to more closely approach its established theoretical limit. The post looks at two of the main types of repeaters and contrasts them to femtocells.

Also, Cable operators are cited as a great potential user of femtocells, since a good deal of their infrastructure is in homes and apartments. Such settings can benefit greatly from femtocell's ability to extend effective coverage and to integrate wireless and cellular networks.

Strong business case and customer acceptance yet to be proven  for mass market commercial deployments. Femto rollouts, partly due to recession of 2008-2010, faces lots of stumbling blocks with customer acceptance and commercial deployments. Negotiations, standardisations and trials are ongoing with different industry partners to make femto cell services beneficial and a reality.

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