Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's a Plane, It's a Toaster...It's a...Femto?

Michelle Donegan (Unstrung) is a brilliant journalist. She's insightful and she also is ON to the subtle shifts underway when it comes to vendors marketing gimmicks.

In her recent blog ( ) she confesses that it is indeed confusing how the Femto and Pico Cell vendors are marketing and repositioning existing product lines -- or trying to create a differentiated product category. She brings up some simple and insightful questions as to what is what in Femto land.

Here's my crack at it (do not read too much into this)

1. Super femtocell: a beefed up picocell product repositioned to take advantage of Femto hype

2. Enterprise femtocell: anything a consumer vendor want it to this point. Place an 'e' in front to existing Femto (Home Node B) and promise up to 8 users some time in the next 18 months and voila`, there's the enterprise femto (regardless of what the enterprise needs from a premise equipment).

3. Enterprise Femto becomes Picocell when a customer want a Pico cell solution and Femto get the drift

4. When is Femto a small macro base stations?
A: It takes more than an AP, AP + Aggreagator to make an outside RAN. Some vendors will attempt to call a small Femto solution a Macro solution when LTE comes around. Scalability is key.

In the meantime, we have to witness Femto and Picocell vendors lobby for airtime and position products based on range, # of active users, time of day and time of month. It will only get worse before it gets better. Michelle - keep up the good reporting,


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