Manish Singh, CTO of Radisys, shares his industry views on the emerging consensus for small cells to solve the data capacity issue, discusses how different vendors are approaching product development and reveals a surprising aspect of the format and purpose of the first dual-mode 3G/LTE femtocells.
Femtocell Opinion, comment and reviews
The recent announcement from ip.access of a residential 3G femtocell may have surprised some in the industry. As part of one of the world’s largest femtocell deployments at AT&T, surely they already had this capability? How does this new product position alongside their existing 2G and Cisco solutions? We dug a bit deeper to find out more.
Few commentators seem to have spotted that SFR’s free femtocell offer may be a pre-emptive competitive strike against Illiad, who had earlier announced a similar scheme. The French market will be closely watched by others, keen to see if this attractive offer of free femtocells is a market disruptor.
Will SFR’s recent announcement of free femtocells change the market and become an example for the rest of the market?
Googlemaps must be one of the most popular apps for smartphones these days. It’s particularly useful when finding your way on foot around a new city or part of town. It’s also popular at home and in the office to lookup places to visit. But despite being an outstanding app, there remain some real issues when using it both for location accuracy and data capacity.
The BBC conducted a survey of 3G coverage in the UK and recently published their results. They do warn it’s not completely scientific and that the data should be interpreted with caution, but it does point out shortcomings in 3G coverage around the country. The test used a smartphone application to measure and report 3G signal availability, with results collated centrally. Data testing firm Epitiro, who also supply wireline broadband performance measuring systems, provided the system itself. 44,600 volunteers ran the application and contributed to the study, which operated across all UK networks. I expect similar results might be observed in many other countries.
Tatara Systems, a leading provider of a pivotal component for 3G CDMA femtocells, has recently been acquired. We wanted to understand more, and spoke to both companies about the move. We wanted to know if Taqua are as committed to femtocells, whether the business strategy will change, and whether this is a sign of Tatara’s success or failure.
The digital village pump concept is based around providing good broadband services to remote rural areas that otherwise wouldn't get them. A fiber connection to the central distribution point is then shared between wireline and wireless connections in the nearby area. Combined with rural femtocells, the approach provides a cost effective means to reach more remote customers.
Apple has announced a number of new features in their next major release of operating system for the iPhone and iPad due out in September. IOS 5 adopts the cloud computing strategy and removes the need for users to run iTunes on their home computer. But it will also place stringent demands on wireless connectivity. Will these create a stronger use case for femtocells?
With all the flurry of Femtocell World Summit in recent weeks, one major announcement may have slipped by unnoticed. In what could become one of the largest femtocell deployments worldwide, the innovative French residential triple-play provider – Free – announced it would offer femtocells to all its 4 million customers at no charge (presumably they have to signup for their mobile service though). They are due to launch 3G mobile service early next year as the new fourth operator in France, and this could give them a distinct advantage as well as quickly becoming the largest femto deployment worldwide.
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.
We don't normally publish interviews with the same people in a short space of time, but the surprise announcement of RadiSys purchasing Continuous Computing was too good to miss. Here, Manish Singh, VP of Product Line Management at Continuous Computing, answers some popular questions on the reasons behind the acquisition, explains who will be running the new combined business and the impact it will have on their customers – especially those using Trillium software in their femtocell products today.
Two operators presented on how they had used femtocells in an unusual way at last week's Femtocell Asia conference. In both cases, there had been natural disasters which destroyed existing cellsites – restoring service for both emergency and general users was a priority. Femtocells were able to be deployed quickly to achieve this goal.
The Wi-Fi Alliance announced plans to develop specifications for use of Wi-Fi for public access. Timeframe indicated is perhaps middle of 2012 (it’s quoted as 1H2012) for the first certified products. Is this a case of too little too late, or will this raise Wi-Fi service capability to match that offered by public access femtocells?
Hotels are often considered to be a potentially attractive market for femtocells. But is there a wider and larger market for owners of rental premises of all sorts. Surely landlords could differentiate their buildings through small investments in femtocells.
Mobile World Congress is by far the largest event in the mobile industry calendar attracting more than 60,000 visitors from around the world - up by some 10,000 from before. This year's event was much more upbeat and optimistic, with more energy and enthusiasm - reflecting the general positive tone of the industry. Femtocells were again a prominent topic - here's our roundup of what was on show and how it related to the rest of the industry.
A recent study by UK regulator Ofcom confirmed that the new LTE service could knock out some cable TV set top boxes, resulting in a poor TV picture. What is the extent of the problem and is this an ideal opportunity for femtocells to be integrated into these same boxes to resolve the problem.
Verizon Wireless has launched their 3G CDMA femtocell. Unfortunately they’ve gone down a proprietary route, choosing Samsung as sole supplier. Why not choose the same standard as Sprint, who have pioneered the new 3G CDMA standard?
Most consumers don’t realise the security threat from using cordless phones instead of wired ones. Just as unsecured Wi-Fi connections can easily be intercepted, so can most digital cordless phone systems. Could this issue drive a stronger adoption of mobile phone use in the home, and indirectly greater takeup of femtocells to provide excellent call quality and security?
I’ve heard it said recently that there seems to be more industry interest to incorporate femtocells into the set-top box which sits alongside your TV than in the broadband DSL or cable modem. This seems a bit strange to me. What are the pros and cons of each approach?
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- Home Zone Data Tariffs without femtocells are daft
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- IIR In-Building Summit Report – June 2010
- The four ways to build and sell a femtocell
- IIR Mobile Network Performance Conference Report
- The pitfalls of Public Wi-Fi Access
- Avren Basestation Conference Notes
- Forecast femtocell shipments for 2010 – Is the industry on track?
- UK Digital Rights Bill - a shot in the arm for femtocells?
- Is Ericsson rethinking it’s 3G femtocell strategy?
- Femtocells: An essential part of two layer mobile broadband networks
- Femtocells and the strain of data capacity
- Femtocell takeaways from Mobile World Congress
- Happy Families for Femtocells at Mobile World Congress
- Initial thoughts about femtocell activity at Mobile World Congress 2010