Wednesday 14 May 2008

Femto femto everywhere

Femtocell is in spotlight again for various reasons. In an earlier blog, I had expressed my doubts regarding femto cells but my opinion is changing after talking to some experts in this area.

ABI Research has predicted that this year only 100,000 cells will be sold and but by 2010 the shipment will be tens of millions of units. There are around 20 femtocell development underway.

I saw this interesting blog on Femtozone services. I am sure providing these additional services in femtozone areas like sending SMS when kids are home or they leave home can be releif for parents.

Some of the questions that remain unanswered at the moment (and I have to admit i did not search hard enough for the answers) are as follows:
  • Many people have complained of the harmful effects of WiFi in their home or office will these complains increase? How much research has been done on the safety of these devices?
  • Most of these will use IP backbones, I assume we need to have broadband for these, what speed of the connection is required?
  • Will this have impact on the ISPs? Would they be able to cope with the increased traffic? What about so many ISPs offering cap on the data, how will it cope in that case?
  • How can I get hold of femtocell? How much does it cost? Is it available online?

Finally if you want to read some papers on Femtocells, check this picochip paper on "The case for home base stations". You can also find out who is working on femtocells here and here. Picochips library of articles here. This article from computer world is good for beginners.


Zahid Ghadialy said...

You can also check the following news items:

IEF 2008: Femtocells attract Italian telco interest

Rumor: ip.access wins femtocell deal with AT&T

Motorola, Netgear announce femtocell products

Dimitris said...

There are answers to your questions.

1) Femtocells are as safe as macrocell base stations (and possibly safer since the mobile handset transmits less power when connected to a femtocell). See this.

2) For three simultaneous voice calls (or mobile data sessions) an average of 120-200kbps upload is required.

3) Femtocell related traffic is expected to be nowhere near p2p. However, some ISPs might be reluctant for third parties to generate revenue over their connections.

4) You can't at the momen (unless you live in Japan). In US, you could buy one from Sprint in Denver, Indianapolis and Nashville but not anymore (online and retail).