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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.

Femtocell Interview with Lauren Town Marketing Director Orange Unik

Lauren Town Orange/France Telecom is a leading proponent of UMA, which uses special dual-mode cellular/WiFi phones to make and receive calls over WiFi as well as the outdoor cellular network. Lauren believes UMA offers many of the same customer benefits as femtocells, and provides insights into what types of customers have bought UMA, how they use it, why it is not promoted for roaming and why Orange are investigating femtocells for enterprise customers. Bringing UMA to market has also highlighted issues for operators merging their fixed/mobile services (and operations), which all highlight lessons for potential femtocell operators.

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).

Scalability of femtocell business case

Scalable Femtocell Business Case Mobile network operators have up to now invested very large sums of money rolling out cellsites across the country before recouping their costs. Femtocells offer a much more scalable investment profile with much smaller initial fixed cost. This makes it lower risk and potentially much better cashflow.

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.

How much broadband does a femtocell consume?

Femtocell Broadband One of the common concerns about femtocells is that they may use up a lot of broadband internet service, either exceeding a basic allowance or causing additional charges. Let's analyse this with some rough calculations to bring some reality to the debate.

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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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