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|02 марта 2009|
Following last year's focus on compelling, femto-based applications, 2009's femtocell news from Mobile World Congress was a bit boring. New silicon solutions were launched. New reference designs and picocells and network integration capabilities, in turn, focused on enterprise applications.
Yet, while less exciting than applications that move the femtocell beyond a tool for coverage and capacity offload, a focus on femtocell silicon and enterprise applications is ultimately about creating a viable femtocell business model. The enterprise, for example, represents a market that mobile operators have been attempting to penetrate for years. It is also a market that has a clear demand for the coverage and capacity femtocells deliver without being as price sensitive as the average household. Perhaps more importantly, new silicon sources-Qualcomm, in particular--are critical for helping femtocell vendors differentiate their solutions and adding the product-line stability that comes from dual-sourcing.
The focus on viable femtocell business models shouldn't be surprising. While the hype and patently misinformed expectations of massive deployments in 2008 have faded, the reality is that operators are still struggling to make sense of the femtocell space. How viable is it? Will it deliver a return on investment? How should it be tackled? Will the broader silicon industry support its success? While it can't be accepted as immediately unbiased, the Femto Forum's white paper discussing the economics of femtocells-and the fact that these economics differ from market to market--speaks directly to the need for answers.