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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 Components and Building Blocks

femtocell componentsWhat are the main components of a femtocell and who makes them? When building femtocell access points, there are several vendors and product types in the foodchain. Here we look at each building block and consider the main players in each area.

Six Questions for Enterprise IT departments deploying femtocells

Office BuildingWhat do enterprise IT department managers think about deploying femtocells? How does this compare with using a Wi-iFi based scheme such as UMA? We've been discussing this with a Telecom Services Planner at a medium sized US company, who is also an enthusiast for UMA. Network security, handset choice, provisioning and the ease of switching between network providers are some of the topics we've covered.

 

Femtocells are applicable in developing countries too - for businesses

India FlagI've said in the past that femtocells are irrelevant in many developing countries, primarily because of the limited availability of domestic broadband. Since then, the scope and applications for femtocells has changed. There is a growing focus on business/enterprise markets as early adopters because they are less price sensitive than domestic users. This argument could equally apply in developing countries. Let's consider this in more detail.

Femtocell Leadership Interview with Shlomo Gadot Percello

Shlomo Gadot Percello Shlomo Gadot is CEO of Percello, an Israeli startup company designing a low-cost, high performance femtocell 3G W-CDMA baseband processor chip. He describes how he is working with a team of mobile handset chip designers to develop a dedicated 3G femtocell chip, believes femtocells will be dramatically cheaper in the near future, gives some market forecasts, industry predictions and even tells us what’s keeping him awake at night.

Can I have an unlock code for my femtocell?

Femtocell Unlock Code I've recently had to unlock my mobile phone in order to allow me to use SIM cards from other networks. This is helpful when travelling (using a local SIM card is often much cheaper, and also allows me to switch operators for a better deal. This isn't illegal or unethical - indeed my current network provider offers the unlock service for £15 (approx $20). Would this issue apply to femtocells too?

The predictable irrationality of free femtocells

Free Femtocell Pricing There's an excellent marketing book which documents theories and experiments to prove the irrationality in human behaviour. Some of these concepts could easily be applied to how femtocells are priced and marketed – and also explain some of the feedback and (dare I say) hostility to some pricing models. Let me explain what it uncovered about free pricing, and discuss how that might affect femtocell pricing offers.
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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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