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Femtocell success relies on handset innovation
|07 августа 2008|
The hype surrounding the mass deployment of femtocells has been doused with cold water by a new study into the need for handset vendors to quickly transform their devices to support the technology.
According to the report, published by Research & Markets, the femtocell industry is basing its optimism on the notion that subscribers will use their cell phones differently when in range of femtocells. There will be different applications and behavioral patterns when people are at home--perhaps content backups, podcasts or even advertiser-sponsored TV programming. The mobile phone may need to be linked to the TV, PC, HiFi or other items of domestic technology, claims the firm.
Standard phones can work with femtocells, but they are not optimised. Certain applications may only work when the phone is within femto range - but they need to know when that is. Yes, some services can be notified by the core network that the user is "at home", but that approach doesn't scale to a wide base of operators, application developers and handset/OS vendors. The phone needs to be "aware" of the femtocell, ideally both in the radio and the application platform.
Changing such elements is not quick. The handset industry is much more complex and slow-moving than many in the wider wireless business understand. It takes often 2-3 years for changes in handset architecture to reach commercially-sold handsets, and another 2-3 years to reach a broad range of devices and reasonable penetration within the user base.