Motorola is starting a femtocell trial with a major (as-yet-undisclosed) European operator. Remember earlier femtocell discussions? We’re talking about the technology that amplifies cell phone signals, particularly within consumer homes.
From the press release – the trial is with Motorola’s end-to-end solution, which uses a range of consumer premise equipment (CPE) and 3G handsets, a core network concentrator, systems integration services and a CPE management solution.
The idea behind femtocells for consumers is that they provide better in-home coverage along with one contact list and one phone bill. Presumably if the voice quality is good enough, wireless carriers believe they can get some consumers to leave their landlines behind and go entirely mobile. That doesn’t seem like an unreasonable assumption, particularly when I think about all the people I know in New York who haven’t had a landline for years.
A couple of analyst stats:
- According to ABI Research, there will be 150 million femtocell users by 2012
- According to Ovum, 30 to 40 percent of cell phone traffic originates in the home, making a compelling reason for wireless carriers to invest in femtocell technology.
One final note, Motorola is close to confirming femotcell trials with additional operators.