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Femtocells. An inspector calls.

Femtocell inspector Self-installation is all the rage now. Broadband internet, TV, cordless phones, computers...... all "plug and play". Instead of sending a technician round to your home to install, setup and configure the equipment, its simply delivered to your door or collected from the shop. This has enabled dramatically reduced prices and rapid growth in these markets.

The cable industry is still somewhat different, sending a technician out to install your set-top box even when you've just taken moved in and are reconnecting to the same cable service.

Femtocells are very much in the former category, being designed for self installation to keep costs down and we can expect this approach to work in at least 90% of cases.

Femtocell service to launch in Japan January 2009. Why IMS?

Softbank Logo Softbank Japan announced this week that it plans to launch a femtocell product in January 2009 and has awarded a supply contract to NEC. Unlike mainstream femtocell developments, this uses a different network architecture with calls made and received using the SIP internet protocol which is commonly used to handle Voice over IP (VoIP) calls rather than the existing mobile network core networks via the Iu interface. Why the different approach?

The Secret Sauce inside femtocells

Femtocell Secret Sauce What is the “secret sauce” that femtocell vendors add to the mix. With major component vendors such as picoChip providing reference designs for femtocells, you may think there is little to be done apart from assembling the components. Femtocell vendors on the other hand seek to differentiate themselves by adding value with specialist expertise.

Intellectual Property: The hidden tax on Femtocells

Femtocell Tax Intellectual Property is the “other meaning” of the term IP (sometimes also known as IPR for Intellectual Property Rights). How will this "tax" apply to femtocells and derived products? [Note: Earlier link error fixed - click through to view the article]

Growing diversity of femtocell vendors

Femtocell vendor diversity In a recent exclusive interview with ThinkFemtocell.com, Manish Singh, VP Product Management for Continuous Computing revealed their company has an astonishing 23 active engagements in the femtocell marketplace. This suggests that many more "undeclared" vendors may be joining the fray having identified strong market potential.

Femtocells - It's all or nothing

Femtocells need critical mass to be viable  An important part of the business case for femtocells for operators is to offload their macrocellular network, so they don’t need to invest as much in their basestations. If a large part of the network traffic is handled locally by femtocells and connected through customer’s own broadband internet, then significantly less investment will be required. Less additional radio equipment on each cellsite, less backhaul (transmission from the cellsites to the operator’s main switching centres) and potentially reducing the need for additional sites in heavily congested areas.

Femtocell Installation

Small Screwdriver The premise of the vendors is that femtocells should require no radio planning. Since operators do not, by and large, know where any individual femtocell will be deployed, they cannot reconfigure their macro network to account for this. There is substantial research and trial work ongoing to reduce the impact of the femtocell on the outdoor macrocellular network. Since the signal levels are very low power and do not easily penetrate walls, little is radiated outside the premises where they are located. Some femtocells also “listen” to the external macrocellular network to pick a frequency which will cause minimum interference.


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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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