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Femtocell deployment delays not surprising

25 марта 2009

Deploying any new technology that could potentially interfere with the cellular network has to be approached with enormous care and attention to detail. This has the inevitable effect of imposing lengthy delays as this new equipment is trialled and tested to absolutely ensure there is no degradation or interference to the macro network; which is, after all, fundamental to ongoing revenues.

Given the potential for femtocells to cause network disruption, it is perhaps not surprising mobile operators have contracted a series of lab tests, employee trials and consumer pilots to understand better the interference issues, consumer reaction and the business model. All this seems to have delayed the introduction of femtocells by the majority of operators with the exception of a notable few in the U.S. and Asia.

Interestingly, operators in the
U.S., Asia and Europe seem to be positioning femtocells differently depending upon their region. In the U.S., Sprint and Verizon Wireless are using 2G femtocells primarily to improve their CDMA coverage, which will also be copied by AT&T Mobility (when it launches its service using W-CDMA), but with the added benefit of providing better high-speed data services for its fast-growing iPhone subscriber base.

Starhub in
Singapore and Softbank Mobile in Japan--with Starhub having launched and Softbank only weeks away--have positioned their femtocell-based service to add value to their consumer proposition in the highly competitive markets in which they both operate.

European operators, which have conducted numerous trials and only launched so-called ‘commercial pilots' to date, appear to be aiming to use femtocells to boost network capacity while improving indoor high-speed data rates.

One possible reason for the delay in European deployments is the idea of using femtocells within the enterprise space. While this has always been envisioned, operators are reporting high levels of interest in femtocells sooner than expected from medium to large businesses.

European Femtocell Deployment Status

Operator   Country  Status Vendor 
mobilkom Austria Austria Consumer and SME trials Huawei
O2 Spain Consumer trial NEC/Ubiquisys
O2 UK Consumer trial NEC/Ubiquisys
Orange France Enterprise trial Huawei & NEC
Orange UK Enterprise trial Huawei & NEC
Orascom Eastern Europe
or North Africa
Consumer trial IP.Access
Portugal Telecom Portugal Consumer trial ?
SFR France SME trial Ubiquisys
TDC Mobile Denmark Consumer trial NEC/Ubiquisys
TeliaSonera Denmark Consumer trial Alcatel-Lucent
TeliaSonera Sweden Consumer trial ?
TeliaSonera Lithuania Consumer trial Motorola
T-Mobile Netherlands Consumer trial Ubiquisys
T-Mobile Germany Consumer trial Ubiquisys
T-Mobile UK Consumer trial Ubiquisys
T-Mobile Poland Consumer trial Ubiquisys
Vodafone Spain Consumer trial Alcatel-Lucent

Источник: FierceWireless

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