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Some interesting facts about US Cellular industry

US-Cellular-RevenueI saw this excellent summary data of the US cellular industry published by CTIA (Cellular Telecommuncations Industry Association). Wireless revenues have grown from $100Bn to $150Bn since 2005, around 15% of the global figure. There are some interesting deductions to be made from it.

2009 Femtocell End of year Report Card

Femtocell Report CardAt the end of every school year, it’s normal for children to return home with a written report on their effort and attainment. We’ve given marks for the femtocell industry overall, with some suggestions for 2010. We've also revisited our own predictions to see if our forecast turned out as expected. Overall, I’d say the femto industry can claim to have made substantial progress this year, even if this hasn't translated into as many commercially installed units as some had predicted.

What defines a commercial market launch of femtocells?

LaunchI recently announced the 7th commercial network operator launch worldwide, with the news that China Unicom had launched an offer called “3G Inn” available to subscribers in its Northern Provinces. Since then, NTT DoCoMo has formally announced its MyArea femtocell launch for 18th November. But is this being too optimistic and including some soft launches or market trials? With these and many trials in progress around the world, what criteria should define a market launch?

New York coverage problems could be fixed by femtocells

iPhone Problem Femtocell SolutionAn apocryphal story was reported recently of an iPhone user in New York who wanted to return it and have it repaired because of the large number of voice calls which were failing. On investigation, the store found that there was a 22% call drop rate. However, this wasn't deemed to be particularly unusual for that area and the customer was sent on his way without any change. Wouldn't it have made him a happier customer if he'd been given (or even just able to buy) a femtocell to solve these issues when indoors?

Key themes for 4G wireless conferences should include femtocells

4GI'll be attending the 4G World conference and exhibition in Chicago next week, organized by the Yankee Group. Get in touch if you would like to meet up and discuss any aspect of Femtocells and/or 4G - I'm always interested in other viewpoints. There's an exclusive track on femtocells, but as you can imagine there will be more interest in the debate between WiMAX and LTE.

My first femtocell experience with the Vodafone Access Gateway!

Being a bit of a femtocell fanatic, I ordered a brand new Vodafone Access Gateway as soon as they were launched. Overall order to activation took just over 2 and a half weeks.  I also needed to completely reconfigure my home network for it to work. Some room for improvement there, but once working call quality was good even up to about 30 metres outside the house.

Are Kineto for or against femtocells?

Kineto WirelessWe've seen a lot of publicity from Kineto in recent years promoting UMA - the technology enabling dual mode GSM/WiFi phones.  Their UMA Today publications and blog strongly advocate this solution. But Kineto are also Femto Forum members and offer a femto gateway product. Are they for or against femtocells? We spoke with Keith Mumford, Kineto's product marketing manager in Europe, to get the wider picture.

Are we nearly there yet (Femtocell widespread availability that is)?

Femtocell Journey Parents will be familiar with this frequent question when embarking on any long distance trip - even if you've only just left home. From time to time, I've also been asked a similar question by those keen to get their hands on a femtocell - namely "when will these be available at a store near me". Are things about to change soon?

A vision of future mobile world from MIT Research

ImageThis post isn't directly anything to do with femtocells. It does give a more radical view of some of the ways in which our mobile devices might interact with ourselves and our environment than some suggested applications I've seen lately. By being aware of these, it helps shape our thinking of how important mobile connectivity and always on data sessions will become – of which femtocells are an important component.

Useful, practical femtocell applications

pciture phoneI confess I've been a bit skeptical about some of the proposed femtocell applications that various vendors have been touting in recent months. Looking at how my colleagues and friends use their Apple iPhones has again kindled my enthusiasm for useful, relevant and helpful applications. Could femtocells really make a difference to these too?

Will Skype on iPhone undermine the need for femtocells?

Skype launched  an iPhone application today which lets you make and receive Skype calls over WiFi (but not cellular). We have often compared femtocells with UMA, which can also be used to send cellular mobile phone calls over WiFi. Both femtocells and UMA must be provided and managed by your mobile phone network provider. Skype and others provide a third way, installing a VoIP (Voice over IP) application in your phone which bypasses the mobile phone network completely and uses WiFi and the internet to connect your call. Will Skype undermine the business case for femtocells?

Femtocell Craze at Mobile World Congress 2009

Barcelona Fira Exhibition Noticeably fewer delegates attended Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week. I wasn’t there either, so point you to a few writeups from those who were (and some who also weren’t). By all accounts, femtocells were one of the main themes and there was plenty of excitement at the joint Femtozone stand. (The photo is one I took at the event a couple of years ago).

Preparing to uncover femtocells at Mobile World Congress 2009

The event is undoubtedly the largest and most important in the global mobile industry. Headline figures of more than 50,000 attendees, keynote speakers from all the major businesses and an extensive range of thousands of exhibitors back this up. All the femtocell vendors will be there, many with both their own stands and participating in the Femto Forum's Femtozone.

Femtocells to outnumber Cell Towers by mid 2010

Femtocells outweigh cell towers There are something like 3.7 Million cell towers (or basestations) worldwide. How long will it take before domestic femtocells reach that number. I’ve estimated that this could happen during 2010, only 18 months from now, by which time the RF landscape of network operators could be radically different. Read more about my assumptions and implications.

Gold plated femtocell coverage for VIPs

Red Carpet VIP It's a problem as old as the first cellphone network. VIPs insist on excellent coverage and operation in their patch, and operations teams fall into line to meet their requests. How many network CTO's have called their network operations team and complained about a dropped call or poor coverage - expecting it to be resolved quickly? The situation at some network operators has meant that radio planning teams pay special attention to coverage of their C-level managers homes and routes to work. It's said that even the detailed travel plans of VIPs are fed through to radio planning teams to ensure good coverage at premium events.

Categories of comments about femtocells

Comment on Femtocells I’ve been reviewing comment feedback on various blogs and news sites regarding Sprint and Verizon’s femtocell offerings. I’ve noticed several clearly differentiated clusters amongst this feedback, and believe these needs to be used and acted on by operator’s marketing teams.

 

 

2008 Femtocell End of year Report Card

Report Card At the end of every school year, it’s normal for children to return home with a written report on their effort and attainment. We’ve given marks for the femtocell industry overall, with some suggestions for 2009. If it’s bad news, best for the child to immediately disappear up to study arduously – if it’s good, then celebrations all round. I’d say the femto industry can give itself a well deserved “pat on the back” and raise a glass for its achievements this year.

 

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    Residential

    Residential

    A significant number of users continue to report poor mobile coverage in their homes. There will always be areas which are uneconomic for mobile operator to reach. They range from rural areas

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    Enterprise

    Enterprise

    The term Enterprise addresses any non-residential in-building including hotels, convention centres, transport hubs, offices, hospitals and retail outlets. It's not just intended for businesses to

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    Urban

    Urban

    Urban small cells (sometimes also named metrocells) are compact and discrete mobile phone basestations, unobstrusively located in urban areas. They can be mounted on lampposts, positioned on the

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    Rural

    Rural

    A rural small cell is a low power mobile phone base station designed to bring mobile phone service to small pockets of population in remote rural areas. These could be hamlets, small villages or

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