[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 19:36:45 -0400

>> 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.

I should improve my previous reponse:

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 the revenue for that cell phone call goes to
the WiFi network/ISP, (2) that the low cost VoIP coverage is limited to
hot spots, (3) that the phones are expensive because they need to switch
between different types of networks, and (4) that the ISP network is
(apparently) not always controlled well enough to provide a measure of
QoS adequate for telephones.

> 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.

In-home 3G VoIP calls would go from this in-home femtocell access point
to the cell company's backhaul network, and become part of the greater
3G VoIP network. The goal is to expand the 3G cell net coverage inside
structures. I think the real difference between this and VoWiFi is the
fact that femtocells participate in the one pervasive 3G cell
infrastructure. More access points to the same underlying backhaul

So, you walk outside your house or building, and you are seamlessly
handed over to the closest outdoor 3G cell, instead of having to switch
from an ISP-PSTN connection to a cellular connection.

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