Femtocells or small cells or liquid radio or one of the umpteen names that this small basestation goes with has evolved organically in the last few years to make an appearance in the home. Finally is it ready to replace my Wi-Fi router at home? Maybe not, as it still remains a one trick pony that guarantees indoor coverage for operators but no visible benefit for the consumer. So why is the Femtocell important for a consumer? What does it offer that operators have an incentive to subsidize and give it away for free? How has the ecosystem changed over the years to say that now is the time for Femtocells to become the differentiator between operators? Come next year, when 70% of US wireless customers will either be AT&T or Verizon, how would somebody in the market for a ‘new’ wireless connection differentiate them? So what is different now from the cellular services of the yester-year?
Connection – and a great connection at that! Robust data service along with ubiquitous voice cov..
Strand mounted femtocell ecosystem will be one of the biggest deployment of femtocell based coverage blanket that will deliver 4G signal ubiquitously. This is neither a ‘new’ concept nor an innovative solution, as it has been used by Muni wireless providers for blanket Wi-Fi coverage in metro areas. These femtocells will share the space and the power with multiple other uses – surveillance, power grid monitoring, traffic cameras, etc. These femtocells will have different names – Local Area BTS, Metro-Femto etc and will operate with different technologies – UMTS, LTE and WiMAX and will take design and deployment to the next level. A regular Monopole or a rooftop has to pass through different stages of search ring, zoning and site acquisition modes, whereas an electric utility company can bypass all this and give access to a telecom provider to support this kind of deployment due to a different class of RF propagation limitations.
This kind of Femtocell will leverage both network powe..
Femtocells tide finally seems to be turning – Sprint has announced last week that they will be giving away a new Airvana femtocell product that supports EV-DO, to customers based on the need and eligibility. The initial version of Sprint’s Airave device, which was made by Samsung, was released in the summer of 2008 and supports only CDMA 1x service. Earlier this spring, AT&T Mobility launched a nationwide femtocell offering, the 3G MicroCell, which it developed with Cisco. Verizon Wireless also has a femtocell that supports CDMA 1x service, called the Network Extender. Only the fourth largest carrier T-Mobile doesn’t to have a Femtocell strategy in place, but they have had UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) which did not take off as expected because of lack of Handset vendors commitment.