Archive for the ‘Femtocell’ category

Femtocell standardization nears reality.

June 4, 2008

  3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards body has adopted an official architecture and started work on a new standard for home base stations.

The new standard completed by the end of this year, which would be a faster outcome than might have been expected, considering that vendors were still duking it out over a common approach just a few weeks ago.

As for market prospects, 2008 will be a year of limited trials in the North American market, with major deployments unlikely until 2009 or 2010. Another barrier to near-term deployments is cost: There’s a broad consensus among equipment vendors and wireless carriers that to be a mass-market play, femtocells must retail for significantly less than $100. Whether that price point is achieved by vendors wringing out costs, through deep operator subsidies, or both, is yet another issue that the industry will spend 2008 trying to figure out. 

Widespread femtocell adoption could also have a negative impact on telcos and MSOs betting on significant additional revenue from leasing backhaul, such as T1 lines, to wireless carriers as they ramp up bandwidth-intensive technologies such as EV-DO Revision A and the 7.2-Mbit/s version of HSDPA. For example, if femtocells offload a significant amount of data traffic, wireless carriers would be under less pressure to add T1s – and radios – to each cell site.

Unstrung: 3GPP Picks Femtocell Standard.