AirWalk's new "EdgePoint Pro" Enterprise Femtocell neatly encapsulates the differences between a femtocell that's suitable for the home, and one that's suitable for business users.
The AirWalk Edge Pro is 3G: Most home basestations are simply 2G devices used to improve cell coverage in a user's dwelling. The Edge Pro supports both CDMA 1xRTT and 3G EV-DO for calls and data coverage. This won't be a differentiation point between home and business femtocells for long, however, as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) plans to soon introduce its 3G "microcell" for consumers. (See Cisco Femto Spotted at AT&T.)
The Edge Pro can handle more users: The biz box can support up to 28 users at one time, according to AirWalk. Most consumer-grade femtos are designed to support just a handful of users concurrently. (See Femtos Mean Business for Orange.)
Business casual: The AirWalk box is a flat gray unit that bolts onto a wall. Quite different from the way vendors are designing consumer femtocells into everything from set-top boxes to digital picture frames.
Enterprise femtocells already face plenty of competition in the business world. Carriers and vendors have been deploying Picocells to improve cellphone coverage in offices for years, and vendors are adding 3G and other business features to these radios.
Meanwhile, WiFi networks have been supporting VOIP in business environments for a couple of years, and many more handsets now support WiFi.
maiken, User Rank: Light Beer 12/5/2012 | 4:08:42 PM
re: AirWalk Unveils Its Enterprise Femto Does this thing do VoIP on the backend to an enterprise PBX? UMA to the carrier? Whats the point if you already have wifi and dual-mode handsets? So many questions.
rduncan, User Rank: Light Beer 12/5/2012 | 4:08:27 PM
re: AirWalk Unveils Its Enterprise Femto
> Does this thing do VoIP on the backend to an enterprise PBX?
Nope. It does, however, provide the equivalent of a macro cell site in your office space at a miniscule cost. Excellentcost:performance. To compare a femto to a macro on cost:perfomance, see my web site where you can download and play with comparisons yourself (using a simple, Excel spreadsheet) at: <http: 11="" 19="" 2008="" femtocell-vs-macrocell-economics-a-model-for-you-to-play-with-2="" imcellular.org=""> </http:>
> UMA to the carrier?
Nope. This is the real deal: pure, transparent 3G GSM coverage. No dual-mode devices or anything special required. For more of the pros and cons of UMA vs. Femtocells, please try:
> What's the point if you already have wifi and dual-mode handsets?
Femtocells providing better cellular coverage and capacity to 100% of your subscriber base.-á
I perceive that you are a UMA fan, and I am, too, but Femtocells are the best way to provide excellent coverage and capacity where most calls are made--in the Home and Office--for all subs (since not everyone has a Wi-Fi phone with a UMA client). (I'm definitely a UMA fan: I have a Wi-Fi phone and use UMA at home and wherever else I can find Wi-Fi ... for free, using T-Mobile's excellent @Home service).
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