Why talk about femtocells now?
Frost & Sullivan estimates the femtocell market to grow to $5.94 billion by 2016, from less than $0.05 billion in 2009! Although long expected, femtocells are now gaining momentum. Driven by the need to extend indoor and metro coverage and capacity of existing wireless services including LTE, to reduce backhaul costs and to provide cost-effective macro network offload, they are expected to be a strategic solution for mobile broadband networks.
The explosion of data traffic generated by smartphones, video, OTT players is altering the quality of service of mobile networks. Operators are looking for technical solutions that can ensure optimum customer experience. Femtocells bring an adequate answer. By connecting a mobile phone to the service provider’s network via broadband, they offer the operator a solution to offload their macro access network and therefore offer consumers an improved coverage and potentially better voice and data quality of service.
We foresee 6 significant challenges before femtocells become a true success.
1.Which tradeoffs on Spectrum and Interference? What impact on Macro network?
2.What is the level of reliance on Backhaul and Quality of Service?
3.How to find the optimal configuration for Network and Device Management ?
4.Standardization and interworking - LTE, HSPA+, mWiMAX, EV-DO… What about WiFi, MiFi?
5.Security - in light of recent news, how easy is it to tamper with femtocells?
6.Does the eco-system provide sufficient momentum and support for the expected growth?