Femtocells Technology - What is It?

By: K. Lynn

So you may be asking yourself: What is new in the wireless industry? You know that the cell phone handsets are constantly being improved but what about the connection technology? Well wonder no more.

A word picking up popularity lately in the wireless industry is Femtocells; the word is being thrown around with alarming frequency, causing excitement in various parts of the wireless industry. Being thought of as the next big technological leap in wireless technology, many companies are ready to invest in further research into Femtocells.

Let's explore what exactly Femtocells are!

Femtocells are mini cellular access points that can provide increased cellular service inside buildings like homes, offices, hospitals, and other areas that may have limited cellular activity. Often buildings, such as federal or research facilities, will restrict the level of cellular penetration.

A low-powered access point, Femtocells connect directly to the mobile operator's network by using an existing DSL or high speed internet access connection.

Using Femtocells will allow users inside buildings access to cellular service networks when previously access to the cellular network would have been spotty at best. Thinking about the need to stay competitive when more and more companies are offering low-cost VoIP services, mobile operators can use this technology to further extend their services into homes, offices and various other buildings. Many cell phone users would prefer to just have the one phone in their home, but the inability to get reliable in-home service can make it difficult for them to depend solely on their cell phone.

Essentially a personal cellular tower, Femtocells can be highly attractive to both cellular carriers and to cellular users.

Downsides

As with any new technology there are a few downsides to the full implementation of Femtocells. The biggest downside, offhand, is going to be the cost involved in installation. While still in trials, Femtocells are starting to look like they are going to cost around $200 per unit. A price tag of $200 might be a bit too steep for the average household consumer; however, small businesses might see it still as being a worthwhile investment to help reduce their telecommunications costs. Improved indoor cellular service could help businesses reduce their reliance on "landlines."

Another major downside to the Femtocells is that they do work just like any other wireless device which, in close quarters to other wireless devices, can reduce their ability to function at peak performance levels. Perfect for rural areas that have limited or reduced cellular signals; Femtocells might not be as effective in buildings like apartment complexes, or other high rise buildings where several might be in use. More users in close proximity will mean more of a drain on the shared bandwidth.

Much more research needs to be completed on this technology with great potential; already mobile carrier giants Sprint and AT&T have expressed interest or have already invested in the developing technology. As the technology expands and is refined there is no doubt that more communications companies will express interest in the coming months.

Top Searches on
Technology
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Technology
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles