Femtocell Opinion, comment and reviews

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?

iPhone and similar devices are driving wider takeup of mobile applications

Where email has been the "killer application" for mobile data for several years now, epitomised by the BlackBerry, I've noticed a real enthusiasm for mobile applications in recent months. Whilst many handsets come equipped with a range of features and data capabilities, the user interface and easily accessed features of the iPhone have transformed its use. When combined with data tariffs which mean there is no additional cost for using them, takeup and usage has increased dramatically.

iPhones have exceeded 500 million application downloads already. Whilst many of these are free of charge, the very low priced applications have made their creators a fortune.

The Application Platform is the greatest success

Many industry experts have tried to predict the types of services and applications which would be most popular. A large number of small companies and come and gone, investing in a wide variety of potentially lucrative new services. Few have been dramatically successful, perhaps because of issues such as the divergence of phone models, screen sizes, operating systems etc. 

The iPhone has created a platform on which application developers can focus. No doubt, Google (and Nokia) are aiming to achieve the same goal.

This is why we have seen tremendous interest in the "AppStore", an online digital marketplace for buy and sell mobile device applications.

What applications could be relevant?

I quite like the recent demonstration announced by Ubiquisys and Mobica , probably because it fits my own lifestyle. I often listen to podcasts on my way to work, and take pictures with my camera. Whilst I could upload/refresh these over mobile broadband, it actually makes more sense to do this when I'm at home - particularly where these types of files can be 10's of megabytes in size. It's awkward to have to plug in my phone via USB cable, startup applications and manually drag and drop files across. I know that iPod's and other MP3 devices can do this synchronisation automatically when just dropped into their charging cradle (assuming your PC is switched on), but I still see an opportunity here.

How can the industry stimulate and create relevant applications?

By creating a standard platform that is easily accessible to developers, operators can engage the power of creativity of a much larger community. This could be done quite easily if limited to specific models of handsets, such as the iPhone. But this would restrict benefits to a relatively small niche of users (and operators).

I don't know what the most popular or likely femtocell specific application would be, but I think we'll see a few more innovative ideas appear in the coming months. 

Hits : 5105
  • 4

    more

    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

    ...
  • 4

    more

    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

    ...
  • 4

    more

    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

    ...
  • 4

    more

    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

    ...
Categories
Backhaul Timing and Sync Chipsets Wi-Fi LTE TDD Regional

Popular Categories

Follow us on...

footer-logo

Search