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

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 17:51:52 -0400

Frank Eory wrote:

> 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.

The point of that quote is that the VoWi-Fi call would have to be routed from 
the hot spot, through an ISP's network, to the PSTN. The disadvantages are (1) 
that they depend on hot spots, and (2) that the ISP network is not carefully 
controlled to provide any measure of QoS adequate for telephones.

And also, cell phones would forever have to permit dynamic switching between 2G 
and 3G VoIP.

> 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.

Consumers can do that already, with their own Wi-Fi and ISP connections, if 
their ISP supports VoIP. But such a scheme is not ubiquitous. It only works in 
your home or café hot spot. What the telcos want to do is use VoIP for their 
own benefit. And eventually be rid of the circuit-based 2G entirely.

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