The following scenario outlines a typical use case for a customer using a femtocell.
- Customer orders a femtocell. This must be sold in conjunction with a mobile operator although could be bought from a retail store.
- The femtocell is shipped by post to the customer.
- The femtocell is installed by plugging directly into a power socket and the broadband router/hub. Some femtocells include the broadband/ADSL modem and WiFi, and can therefore replace any existing modem/hub completely. Other femtocells connect by Ethernet and can be powered either via the Ethernet cable or from the mains supply.
- Femtocell registers automatically with the mobile operator, setting up a secure IP tunnel for all communication using the Up interface.
- Software updates and configuration changes are automatically downloaded to the femtocell as required. This procedure can use the TR-069 standard already used by many operators to manage DSL modems, and ensures software files are securely signed to avoid corruption and interception.
- PC/Computer does not need to be switched on to use the system, although a management/configuration screen is available via web browser. This can be used by the customer to restrict/enable access to the hub for particular phones. Since the use of the broadband link is being paid for by the customer, if other mobile phone users also use the femtocell (eg neighbours, passers-by) then that usage would come out of their DSL broadband package allowance.
- Customer’s laptop(s) can access internet via the femtocell. This can use either WiFi or 3G. Many femtocells are capable of offloading this data traffic so that it seamless passes directly to the internet without needing to be carried back to the mobile operators core network.
- Customer can use all their existing mobile phone services without modification including voicemail, address book, ringtones, email and enjoy lower tariffs when using their mobile phone via the femtocell, and up to 4 mobile phones can be used at the same time.
- Mobile phones and laptops used on the femtocell operate at much lower power (10% of cordless phones), and thus have much extended battery life.
Click here for more detailed femtocell installation and rollout process