[opendtv] Re: Femtocells pose threat to voice-over-Wi-Fi, cellular basestation deployment

  • From: Frank Eory <frank.eory@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 14:41:32 -0700

This quote says it all, especially the part about losing out on revenue:

The problem with VoWi-Fi, according to
Baines, is that performance has proven disappointing, the handsets are
expensive and need to be subsidized by the carrier and it's not
ubiquitous. Shadowing these technical challenges is the fact that
carriers lose out on revenue when calls are handed off from the cellular
network. Femtocells give operators a chance to maintain that revenue
with high-quality connections over licensed spectrum, versus noise- and
latency-prone unlicensed Wi-Fi connections.

If femtocell base stations could be sold as retail consumer products, like WiFi routers, and offered consumers the chance to go "off-network" with ordinary wireless phones while at home, then we'd really be onto something big here. Given the proliferation of households that rely entirely on wireless phones (no land line), the ability to make wireless calls cost-effectively at home would be huge, and I think consumers would pay a little extra for that privelege. But that's not the same kind pay-a-little-extra as the traditional wireless plan in which you use up your minutes, regardless or where you are when you use your wireless phone.

What does the addition of femtocells really offer the average consumer, especially if he already has good coverage indoors at home? I see the advantages for the service providers, but how do you sell that to consumers?

-- Frank

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