Indoor base stations emerge on mobile radar


Indoor base stations emerge on mobile radar

Antony Savvas

Indoor base stations for mobile connectivity will be the next thing in enterprises, says telecoms analyst Analysys.

So called femtocells are set to cause fundamental changes and will drive fixed-to-mobile substitution, said Analysys.

“The indoor base station concept has emerged rapidly and has created extensive speculation about its potentially wide-reaching consequences”, said analyst Alastair Brydon.

“A number of technologies have been over-hyped in recent years, but femtocells have the potential to transform the telecoms industry. The trend towards fixed-to-mobile substitution is increasing in many countries, and 3G networks are at a relatively early stage in their development.

In this context, 3G femtocells could not have arrived at a better time for the mobile industry,” he said.

Indoor base stations can be applied to a number of wireless technologies, including 2G, 3G, 3G LTE, WiMax and WiBro, but 3G femtocells present the greatest opportunity, said Analysys.

Indoor base stations can provide a less ­expensive alternative to traditional outdoor cellular infrastructure for providing in­building coverage.

Femtocells will accelerate the migration of voice traffic from fixed to mobile networks, until 3G networks carry the majority of voice traffic, said the analyst.

Femtocells will also undermine the case for converged cellular-WLan services, enabling very similar tariffs without the need for dedicated handsets, added the analyst.
For Femtocells to succeed however, operators will have to overcome potential barriers such as interference, range, performance, network integration and management, handover, billing and security, Analysys said.

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