Friday, January 23, 2009

It's a "Wireless Network Extender"

Rumors abound about Verizon Wireless’ launch of a Wireless Network Extender, more commonly known as a femtocell. Engadget reports that Verizon could begin selling the unit as early as next week.

The deeper question is: will consumers pay for coverage? $250 for the unit seems a bit steep.

Or will Verizon resort to providing the unit for free as a customer retention tactic like Sprint? We’ll have to wait and see.


Anonymous said...

The comments from Dean Bubley's semes highly critical of UMA.

..I've written many, many times over the past 4 years before about UMA's deficiencies..

I wonder if you would like to give some reply.

Steve said...

Yes, Dean has been critical of FMC services in general. He is hot on Wi-Fi for internet offload, which plays into UMA.

One of Dean's key criticisms of UMA is that the Wi-Fi connection is captive, ie there is (was) no local offload to have the handset connect directly to PCs or other local devices in the home.

This has changed with the RIM and HTC products. Both support a UMA/Wi-Fi 'split tunnel' whereby the phone routes traffic destine to the mobile core through the UMA tunnel, but hands off local IP traffic directly at the Wi-Fi router.

I've written about this in previous posts.