A Femtocell which is also referred to as a home base station is a small cellular base station that has been designed for use in small business environments or at home. In a residential setting, a Femtocell supports about 2 to 5 mobile phones since it uses a broadband to connect to the service providers’ network. Through a Femtocell, service providers are able to extend service coverage in homes especially if access is unavailable or limited. A Femtocell uses the IP network to route mobile phone traffic and operates in a licensed spectrum.
In the contemporary world, the technology enables the mobile operators’ network to be connected to the standard mobile devices either through cable broadband connections or residential DSL. The use of femtocell is expected to increase with forecasts indicating that there will be about 102 million femtocell products users by 2011. Lester (Lester, 2007) acknowledges that the use of femtocells has become very beneficial at home and for businesses and they are in future expected to be applied in ways that will completely transform the telecommunication industry.
For instance, some of the ways through which the Femtocells are expected to be used include, to allow the network operators to reach small rural communities, to service an enterprises’ in-building needs and to provide a metropolitan “hot – zone” coverage. According to David (David, 2008), the invention of the technology was motivated by several problems that were being experienced in the telecommunication industry.
One problem that encouraged the invention of this technology was inadequate mobile residential coverage due to an increase in demand for mobile service, and the inability of existing infrastructure such as boosters to deliver services effectively.
Poor call quality was another problem that promoted the invention of femtocells. Because they use preexisting broadband connections to route nearby wireless voice traffic, Femtocells are able to provide wireless handsets with VoIP. This results improvement in the quality of calls. The need to cut down operating expenses acted as a motivation for the invention and use of Femtocells.
Many operators in efforts to gain from higher call termination profits have encouraged high penetration of femtocells in the network. In order to reduce the average cost of having the mobile terminated calls delivered. The problem of battery drain contributed to the invention of Femtocells in efforts to increase a phone’s battery life . In addition, the backhaul traffic experienced is a problem that was to be addressed invention. Femtocell as an emerging technology has had both negative and positive impact on business and society. In this paper, the impact of femtocell on business and society will be discussed.
According to the organization of the paper, the emerging technology (Femtocell) will be described. This will then be followed by a discussion of the impact of Femtocell on business and on society will then be discussed . This will be followed by a conclusion and the references. 2. Discussion Communication is very important. Allen et al (Allen et al, 1994) states that the telecommunication industry has undergone great technological changes, with the industry experiencing the emergence of different technologies. Femtocell is an example of an emerging technology in the telecommunication industry.
The benefits of the technology to users in small business and residential environments have promoted the use of the technology in these environments. For the service providers, the technology improves indoor service coverage for the users. Furthermore, service providers can use Femtocell to reduce the operating expense as well as the capital expenditure costs. Femtocell improves service coverage by supporting 2 to 5 mobile phones in a given residential setting. By so doing, access becomes possible where it would have been unavailable or limited.
According to Haykin (Haykin, 2001), people enjoy the benefits of fixed mobile convergence and hence the deployment of Femtocell will continue to benefit the people. For other fixed mobile convergence architecture, a new dual-mode handset is required. The handset needs to work with the existing Wi-Fi access points. A Femtocell on the other hand has its deployment working with the existing handsets. However, this requires a new access point to be installed. The invention and the development of Femtocell technology can be traced back in 2002. The original design of a Femtocell was developed to provide an equivalent to a WiFi access point.
The unit only required a data connection to WiFi core network or internet. In the United Kingdom, companies that focused on the technology development included the 3 Way Networks and the Ubiquisys. Other companies that have been involved in the supply of Femtocells include, the Radioframe Networks, Samsung and Airwalk. To promote the deployment of the technology worldwide, a Femto Forum Trade Organization has been established. The organization is comprised of software vendors, mobile operators, content-providers and telecommunication hardware.
Femtocell need to be controlled and operated by a given mobile phone company because it uses licensed radio spectrum. Because it works with only a single mobile operator, all the users in a single household are encouraged to switch to the same network operator. When Femtocells are used, signals are sent encrypted to the main switching centers of the mobile operators through the broadband IP network. Due to the short range that is involved when a Femtocell is used, the data services are expected to operate faster. As compared to the WiFi and cordless phones, the Femtocells are able to operate at low radio power levels.
This is considered an advantage because it increases the life of a phone battery. Based on the model, units can be able to handle about 3 or 4 simultaneous calls that are from different users. When it comes to the Femtocell service, the operators can provide a facility that restricts external users from breaking into an individuals’ computer through voice and data that is received and sent from mobile phones. This is because; the data and the voice are usually encrypted by a Femtocell. Femtocells are compatible with standard mobile phones that exist.