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GSM Femtocell on a USB stick coming soon

Magic Jack We’ve looked at ever smaller packaging formats for femtocells, including embedding in picture frames. But I was taken aback by the product announcement from one company which plans to integrate a full GSM femtocell into a USB stick which you can plug into your laptop. Having sold over 3 million USB sticks for landline phone service in the last 18 months, this company needs to be taken seriously – even though they’ve never been mentioned in the femtocell space before.

Femtocell Gateway components and location

gateway What are the components and building blocks for a femtocell gateway? I've suggested that it's likely there will be relatively few of these beasts, co-located with major regional internet connection points, aggregating a lot of voice and data traffic. Can they scale up to meet the full capacity required and what are the bottlenecks?

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.
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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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