×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 63
Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Monday, 11 April 2011 12:57

Femtocells: Optus should be giving them away

By

Arguably mobile customers buying femtocells are paying good money to compensate for the shortcomings in the mobile network: and the benefits for the operator go much further.

Femtocells are wonderful things. For operators. The in-building coverage of their network improves without them having to invest in more cell sites and some of that huge and growing data traffic being generated by all those smartphones and tablets gets offloaded from their network onto a fixed broadband network.

This improves services for other users and delays the inevitable investment in capacity upgrades to their networks. And they get to charge customers for the femtocell, up to $240 in Optus' case.

And what do users gain? Nothing except the quality of coverage that, arguably the network should provide. Not to mention more likelihood of gobbling up their monthly broadband data quota - according to Optus the addition of femtocell puts a base load of about 1GB per month on the broadband connection, before the owner even starts to use it in anger.

In short the benefits of femtocells are heavily stacked in favour of mobile network operators. Perhaps operators should be giving them away? Seriously

In mid 2009 the Femto Forum released a research paper which found that the cost savings associated with offloading as little as 1.4GB of HSPA data per month via a femtocell from a coverage-constrained macro cellular network would justify an operator offering a subscriber a free femtocell.

"For a small but rapidly growing segment of heavy wireless data users an operator can easily halve the cost of delivering wireless data at home or in the office by offloading traffic from the macro cellular network onto a femtocell," it concluded.

Around about that time I asked Telstra CTO Hugh Bradlow about Telstra's view on femtocells. He replied that they are deployed to either improve depth or capacity of the main network, neither of which was a problem for Telstra. Given the surge in data volumes, that view may well have changed.

However he added a caveat, saying that femtocells were also emerging as platforms for new applications in the home and as they matured in this direction Telstra would look seriously at them.

CONTINUED

You can read more stories on telecommunications in our newsletter ExchangeDaily, click here to sign up for a free trial...




There have been significant developments in this direction, but we are sill some way from a flood of femtocell applications. Last month The Femto Forum published a set of application programming interface (API) specifications that will enable mobile network operators to make applications that are 'femtocell aware' or femtocell specific.

The Femto Forum's vice-chairman and head of its Services Special Interest Group, Andy Germano, said: "There is a major opportunity for operators to start offering unique new applications. Already in Japan, we are seeing mobile operators offering commercial, revenue-generating applications that send an SMS to parents when children arrive home from school. The number of potential applications enabled by this new and exciting API is literally endless."

ABI Research agrees, in a report published in January it said: "Femtocells'¦initial use-case has been to enhance indoor cellular coverage, but it is now clear that their potential utility is much wider. It is based on 'femtozone services' that use key attributes such as location and presence to trigger innovative applications residing on the mobile device, or in the access point, the core gateway, or the cloud."

ABI suggested: "femtozone applications [that] can turn on lights or activate security systems...can be used to sync content between mobile phones and other devices in the home such as TVs, laptops and media players'¦[or] can even allow remote access to digital content stored at home.

I wonder what applications Optus has up its sleeve. Maybe it could have offered something to sweeten that $240 pill.

You can read more stories on telecommunications in our newsletter ExchangeDaily, click here to sign up for a free trial...



 

DIGITAL MARKETING HAS NO SOCIAL DISTANCING OR TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

As part of our Lead Machine Methodology we will help you get more leads, more customers and more business. Let us help you develop your digital marketing campaign

Digital Marketing is ideal in these tough times and it can replace face to face marketing with person to person marketing via the phone conference calls and webinars

Significant opportunity pipelines can be developed and continually topped up with the help of Digital Marketing so that deals can be made and deals can be closed

- Newsletter adverts in dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- News site adverts from small to large sizes also as dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- Guest Editorial - get your message out there and put your CEO in the spotlight

- Promotional News and Content - displayed on the homepage and all pages

- Leverage our proven event promotion methodology - The Lead Machine gets you leads

Contact Andrew our digital campaign designer on 0412 390 000 or via email andrew.matler@itwire.com

CONTACT US!

LAYER 1 ENCRIPTION A KEY TO CYBER-SECURITY SOLUTION

Security requirements such as confidentiality, integrity and authentication have become mandatory in most industries.

Data encryption methods previously used only by military and intelligence services have become common practice in all data transfer networks across all platforms, in all industries where information is sensitive and vital (financial and government institutions, critical infrastructure, data centres, and service providers).

Get the full details on Layer-1 encryption solutions straight from PacketLight’s optical networks experts.

This white paper titled, “When 1% of the Light Equals 100% of the Information” is a must read for anyone within the fiber optics, cybersecurity or related industry sectors.

To access click Download here.

DOWNLOAD!

VENDOR NEWS & EVENTS

REVIEWS

Recent Comments