It may strike you as odd to think about how to turn femtocells off or dispose of them when the industry is doing its best to roll them out and turn them on. But every product has a lifecycle, and that includes working out what to do when the customer doesn’t pay up, or when the product reaches the end of its natural lifecycle. This wasn’t done when mobile phones first started being upgraded, leaving many unused in drawers or thrown into landfill refuse rather than being recycled.
A feature required by potential femtocell operators, location lock prevents a femtocell from being moved to a new location without the owning network operator’s awareness and permission. We explain the justification for this feature and technical implementation options.
Will Franks, CTO of Ubiquisys (an independent femtocell access point vendor), is pleased that the Femto Forum has given smaller femto companies a voice in the femto standards. He notes that operators have been largely silent on the state of their femtocell trials and market launch plans, suggests we’ll see “hard launches” during 1H2009 addressing many go-to-market business processes and indicates that some operators are choosing between enterprise and domestic markets for femtocells.
Would you benefit from owning a femtocell in case of a medical emergecny or if your house was burning down? How do femtocells handle emergency calls, and is this better or worse than existing mobile network operation? I’ve drawn some comparisons (and lessons learnt) from existing VoIP services.
Have you seen the latest eBook technology which allows you to store and view many books on a remarkably easy to read display? The Amazon Kindle specifically includes a cellular 3G service which runs on Sprint's network, allowing you to choose and download an eBook almost anywhere in the US. Would eBook users benefit from having a femtocell at home?
Prof. Simon Saunders is Chairman of the Femto Forum. He reports on their progress against original objectives, looks ahead at technical standards for Release 9, and gives some insight into a new initiative to open up applications inside femtozones.
We spoke with Sudhir Tangri, Assistant VP Strategic Marketing from Aricent, who provide software, consultancy and SI to vendors and operators. He believes that the 3G femtocell BoM cost will drop next year to $50, suggests that it’s the applications not devices which will drive demand for LTE and believes LTE femtocells are the most appropriate way to rollout this new 4G radio capacity.
There is a lot of industry momentum building up for LTE femtocells. Much of this is from the vendor community, who have invested to create the chipsets and technology software platforms which enable it. For example, picoChip have already developed and proven an LTE femtocell prototype last year using the emerging standards.