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back to article O2 plans commercial femtocells for 2009

O2 is pushing ahead with expanded femtocell trials over the next year with the stated intention of rolling out a commercial product during 2009, reducing their network costs and increasing customer connection speeds all at the same time. Femtocells are tiny base stations which plug into customers' broadband connection and route …

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Pirate

Quality of connection?

"Few network operators will risk deploying the technology on ADSL connections they don't own"

Surely most broadband providers won't want to provide free backhaul to a potential competitor? I'm surprised Virgin Media haven't started offering femtocell cable modems to drive takeup of their mobile service, while cutting back on their MVNO costs.

How popular will these devices be if users are suddenly disconnected when they reach their "unlimited" cap?

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Specious reasoning

"O2's own DVB-H trials show that nearly half mobile-TV viewing is done in the home, so a large-scale femtocell deployment provides them with the opportunity to become a major provider of video to the home, without all that mucking about with new frequencies and infrastructure"

So this would be nothing to do with the fact that trials are generally given to people who don't ask for it, for some financial benefit. i.e. a user is given a handset for mobile-TV, asked to do a series of tests (watch 15 minutes of mobile-TV) and recieve a cash payment at the end. Chances of this being done when they've got spare time? -> High. Chances that this is how the target market for mobile-TV will use it in the real world? -> Slim

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Just as well it's 3g...

O2's 3g coverage leaves a fair bit to be desired, so I guess they're hoping to pad it out by selling broadband connections and femtocells to people.

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Anonymous Coward

Whalesong... Whalesong... And strong drugs

Bwahahaha

This assumes that Joe Average Luser will use the phone as his main device to access the internet and he will never access his local network. So he will not listen to his 500MB stash of MP3s, not watch his stash of videos, not ...

Instead of that he will buy only stuff offered by the provider. Yeah right, whatever and whoever is smoking dat pass it along.

The underlying problem here is that from a FemtoCell Joe Average Luser emerges at the end of the GGSN deep on the operator network. Any traffic to his own LAN has to be tromboned back all the way (up the narrow end of DSL in most cases). That is not going to fly with the majority of the so called "early adopter" crowd. They want to use a device to the full and if they cannot do an elementary thing like sync it to their own PC they are not going to use it

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Stop

GPS powered femtocell is useless

If the femtocell has to receive a GPS signal in order to work then it will be useless to me. The building in which I work has metal in the walls and therefore no mobile signal - GPS signals are equally blocked. The end result is that the cell will not help the mobile coverage because it will not have any GPS coverage!

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Paris Hilton

Has to be pointed out...

"a technology that listens in to the existing GSM and 3G network signals to establish if the licensee is allowed to transmit here"

So, to give better signal in an area, there needs to be signal (from that operator) already? Catch 22 anyone?

"Apple iPhone is already driving unheard-of levels of mobile internet"

For me, certainly, they are unheard-of - I haven't heard of them at all. I didn't think enough people had bought the sheep phone for it to make a difference?

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No likely to succeed

I do understand the model where femtocells or nanocells are used to extend in-building coverage in businesses or public places such as shopping malls, or the underground. If this provides coverage where there wouldn’t otherwise be any then clearly this is beneficial to the both the user and the network operator (=more revenue). However I don’t yet get the model where femtocells are to be deployed in people’s homes. The main benefit is to the network operator, not the home user. It saves them from spending £400k ea on more basestations. With a DSL connection the home user already has the means to make the call, or to use broadband.

Currently I get 3g coverage in my home so I have no need for a femtocell. If I lived in a poor coverage area and I deployed one of these in my home then I would want a corresponding reduction in tariff. How are they going to sell this to the public? There will need to be good value incentives. What would motivate anyone to have a femtocell in their home to help the operator when the mobile charges are already exorbitant.

Noboby would use their tiny screened pda for broadband when a dsl connection and wifi is already available in the home. Nor would anyone feel compelled to make a 3g telephone call instead of a landline (remember you need to have DSL, so you already have a landline), or even a standard GSM call.

Don’t get it.

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Mini Masts in your Home????

So for all the protesting about mobile phone masts outside schools and outside childrens playgraounds .....

We are going to put them in your home now.

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iPhone / Internet.

It says a lot about mobile internet take up that a few iPhone owning sheep going "look, it's got the internet" <two minute demonstration of Google and YouTube> in the pub can qualify as a dramatic increase in use.

The problem here isn't bandwidth or coverage, it's that the providers believe their own bloody hype over the demand for their services and are looking for the reason that the usage figures don't reflect the la la land they live in.

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Shirley some mistook here ?

"They use the standard 3G frequencies and protocols, so work with any handset ..."

Err, last I heard "any handset" meant more than 3G ! I'm on O2, don't have 3G on my phone, and have a signal that varies from unusable to nothing at all.

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