Wednesday, July 25, 2007

EE Times on femtocells

This is a well done piece on femtocells by John Walko at EE Times.

Personally, I liked the fact that UMA was listed as one of three approaches for backhauling femtocells. The other two (Iu-B and SIP) are a struggle. For operators looking to trial in 2007 and deploy in 2008. UMA has many very clear advantages.

One odd comment in the article was...

“Femtocells represent the first real threat to the increasing dominance of Wi-Fi routers in the home...”

Given they operate at a frequency which is licensed, owned and managed, I’m not sure it’s really a ‘threat’ as much as a new way for mobile operators to use their spectrum. I think Bruno Dachary of Orange offers a different take:

"It is strange to hear people talking about femtocells as a consumer product similar to say a Wi-Fi router. This is not right… these are operator products as they use spectrum owned and managed by operators, and we will rent them to users to retain control," said Dachary.
There is a bit of foreshadowing in his comments. Also a vision that Wi-Fi and femtocells will be deployed and used different, perhaps side-by-side in the Orange network... Only time will tell.

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