Will Franks - femtocell pioneer

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23 January 2009

What is an enterprise femtocell?

There has been a lot of debate recently about enterprise femtocells. What are they?

Are they the larger cousins of consumer femtocells, only with more users and more power? But how many users and how much power? Or are they standard consumer femtocells, arranged in a self-managing grid? But what is a standard consumer femtocell?

The problem is that this is a circular debate - there is no single answer, because the wrong questions are being asked. The fact is that the enterprise femtocell simply cannot be defined as a single device specification. Because no two enterprises are the same.

Instead, I think of Enterprise as an application of femtocells. What is important is meeting the individual enterprise's needs and giving mobile operators the flexibility to do this at the right price.

After all, femtocells come in all shapes and sizes, just like places of work. So it would be very efficient to deploy a mixture of 4, 8 and 16-call femtocells arranged in a grid. In other buildings single femotcells of various capacities might be best. I'll explain more another day.

Whatever their capacity, however they are arranged, they are all femtocells. Self-organising, self-managing, low-cost devices that businesses can install themselves.

That should be something we can all agree on.