One of the Motorola news announcements I didn’t cover last week was the introduction of the company’s CDMA femtocell. Femtocells keep getting buzz, and the latest stats out of ABI Research suggest there will be 70 million femtocells in the world by 2012 and roughly 200 people using them. (That’s up from ABI’s earlier prediction of 150 million femtocell users in 2012.)
As far as I can tell, there are two reasons wireless carriers want the home base stations. First, femtocells mean fewer dropped calls in the home, which should keep people talking longer – maybe even get them to drop their landlines – and improve customer satisfaction. Second, femtocells will make it easier for consumers to use revenue-generating mobile data services at home. My gut reaction to that is: why would people use mobile data services if they have Wi-Fi at home already? But on the other hand, I use text messaging at home, so my gut may not be good for much on this one.