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February 04, 2010


Mike Kiely

Thanks, that's clearer. I was using a single Femto to improve mobile, allowing neigbours to connect, and suddenly I stopped using the POTS service all together, and it also showed I really only need a genuine mobile service if I am travelling quickly between cells. Most use is more nomadic than mobile.

The multi-vendor femto cell/wifi might be a way to push the operators off our turf a bit further. In terms of bits per htz this must be better us of spectrum that these macrocells. Although any device attached to a network of wifi 802.11n would achieve a similar outcome.

Mobile operators look more like device rental companies with an attached network.

Andy Tiller

Wi-Fi has lots of advantages, but femtocells have many complementary strengths. For the 'peaceful co-existence' view, see the Femto Forum's white paper: "Wireless in the home: the need for both 3G femtocells & Wi-Fi access points" http://www.femtoforum.org/femto/index.php?id=69.


Thanks Andy, that's an interesting white paper and it does bring up one Femtocell advantage (besides better voice coverage) that I missed, i.e. better handset battery life. While the original power requirements for Wi-Fi have been dramatically reduced, they still are not as low as 3G.

But, except for battery life and voice telephony, I wasn't impressed by their list of benefits. Touting things like access to "operator managed services with better quality of service" is a non-starter. There's been no adoption of such services beyond voice and SMS. Their suggestion of "seamless continuity with the macro network" is certainly true, but is likely to be solved in the long term by something like MPTCP (see: http://www.ietf.org/proceedings/75/mptcp.html).

I'm sure Femtocells will be deployed in some measure, but nothing like what was envisioned a few years ago, nothing like Wi-Fi and not widely enough to generate a return for those who've invested in Femtocell businesses.

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