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.
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.
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).
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.
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.