Monday, March 24, 2008

Qualcomm Positions Wi-Fi and Femtocells

I recently uncovered a very interesting whitepaper on the Qualcomm site. Published in December, 2007 and titled “Femtocells and WLAN Complement 3G and Beyond”, the whitepaper approached the current Wi-Fi/Femto furor with an outlook similar to my own: the imperative is for in-building radios to provide service zones, and is less about which radio technology is used.

By using Wi-Fi or femtocells, operators have the ability to develop a ‘service zone’ where new, differentiated services can be delivered to subscribers.

The paper goes on to outline four reasons why an operator needs to use a technology like Wi-Fi and/or femtocell to complement a 3G deployment:

  • Indoor coverage – which can mean regular ‘coverage’, but now implies improving the data rate/throughput for packet services
  • Capacity gains – good old macro radio offload
  • Cost savings – specifically attributed to the use of broadband/IP for backhaul
  • New Services – specifically Home Zone services, or applications specific to a location.

These are all things that are common to the “Home Zone 2.0” strategy.

My only disagreement in the piece is the discussion about VCC. But this was written before the announcement that Qualcomm was adding UMA support to their dual-mode 3G platform.

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