Liveblogging -- Femtocell Session

Carl Ford : 4G: For Generations to Come
Carl Ford

Liveblogging -- Femtocell Session

There's an overflow crowd here at the 4GWE session on femtocells, so I'll try some liveblogging to keep you in the flow of the discussion if you're not here in the room with us.

What is a femtocell? David Chambers from Amdocs, our session moderator, gives the overview: It is basically a "complete [cellular] base station, shrunk to size."

Chambers says North America is a ripe femto market, since it has poor cellular coverage, good wired broadband, and people with money to spend. Theoretically :-)
David Nowicki, VP of marketing and product management from femto manufacturer Airvana, now speaking. Talking about the femto forum -- industry group promoting femto standards.

Femto Forum -- 43 operators, covering 1.3 billion subscribers; 17 of the top 20 mobile operators playing together.

What does the consumer get out of installing a femto? David says there's an 80-page white paper on the forum web site, woof! We'll read that later. Talking now about a family adding a femto to their house... it costs the operator at least $400 up front to integrate the device in -- but over the life of the customer contract it is worth it because ARPU goes way up. Could double the ARPU.

The family uses more data -- adds big-bucket calling plans -- more services, like TV -- so femtos can be a way to bring more bundles into a subscriber contract. Plus it offloads some data from the service provider network -- more savings.

Who will want femtos? Two-thirds (according to analysis) of customers are wireline customers who want mobility as a complementary service. Makes sense since you need a wired connection (ed. note -- or something like Clearwire's WiMAX) to connect the femto.

Now speaking: Don Troshynski, technical director at Acme Packet, going to talk about back end stuff.

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