Light Reading
$250 'network extender' offers no-service-charge coverage boost, but no 3G support yet

Verizon Intros Femtocell

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
1/26/2009
50%
50%

Verizon Wireless today launches its first femtocell -- a $250 box that will improve voice and data connections for users living in difficult coverage areas, but won't support 3G EV-DO networks for faster downloads in the home.

The Verizon Wireless Network Extender, which the company is calling a "mini-cell site", is made by Samsung Corp. for the operator. The CDMA radio boasts a coverage range of 5,000 feet and allows voice and data calls to be routed back through the user's wired home network.

The largest CDMA operator in the U.S. is charging $249.99 plus tax for the box but won't be tapping users for a service fee after the initial purchase.

Verizon describes the Network Extender as "ideal for customers who want to boost their wireless signal when making voice calls, sending text/picture/video messages, accessing Mobile Web or accessing Smartphone/BlackBerry data in situations that could include houses with structural barriers, in basement rooms, or in some remote, mountainous or hilly areas." The femto will also boost coverage for those living on the edge of Verizon's network deploymemts.

The initial user questions around the mini base station are likely to center around the cost of the box and the lack of 3G support. The only current rival on the U.S. market, the Airave -- also made by Samsung -- doesn't offer 3G support either, but only costs $99. Sprint, however, does charge a monthly fee for the femto subscription.

The lack of EV-DO 3G support will likely raise some eyebrows, given the initial cost of the unit. A Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) veep, talking to Unstrung at the CES show recently, suggested that the main reason carriers wanted femtocells in the U.S. was to relieve some download pressure brought on by the latest wave of 3G smartphones. Cisco is reportedly working with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) on its femtocell deployment project. (See AT&T Targets Q2 Femto Launch and CES: AT&T's Femtos in the Fall?)

The extender concept, however, is actually right in line with what Verizon Wireless's CTO, Tony Melone, told us he wanted out of femtocells last year: better indoor penetration for voice. (See the video below.)



Verizon has been vocal about its interest in femtocells for months now. (See Verizon Eyes Femtos and Verizon Eyes Femtos for 2009.) In fact, the Network Extender follows hard on the footsteps of the box that many expected to be the big V's first femto but which turned out to be a fancy home hub. (See Verizon's Home Hub-Bub (But No Femto).)

Verizon Wireless’s Network Extender is available online and at "select Verizon Wireless Communications Stores."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(24)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:21 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell
So, if you pay $250 and no further fees for a femto is that a good deal?

DJ
paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:19 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell

I am really underwhelmed by this. If they built a router to replace my existing home router with all its features and gave me a femto on top of it for under $100 - MAYBE I might consider it.

But for this? Just give me a phone that includes a VoIP application over WiFi. I already OWN a WiFi router. Since they require a broadband setup, why not assume I have WiFi. My favorite bit is disclaimers around Wireless Broadband as WAN side. If I had a good Wireless Broadband connection, I probably don't need a femtocell.

If this is what is coming for femtocells, it will become the Ryan Leaf of the wireless business.

seven
freetoair
50%
50%
freetoair,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:18 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell
bad deal.
what am i getting?

I have a desktop PC, laptop and a smartphone.
Why do i need/want this?

Because I have a coverage/capacity/bandwidth problem?
gocowboys
50%
50%
gocowboys,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:17 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell
I happen to be in a coverage dead zone (for Verizon wireless). Guess that the TV ads are not all that true...what a surprise! Anyhow, I am tired of going out on the porch and lifting one arm South, holding my leg and then dialing with my nose. For $250 and no fees, it is in the price range of a new phone. For that, I will happily give it a shot.

I looked at the coverage and 5,000 square feet represents about 70' by 70'. I am not worried about the neighbors using the femto...they are much further away than that. In addition, my upload speed (measured) is running approximately 3 Mbps. So, 40 kbps is not going to mess anything up.

I will let you know how I make out. Can you hear me now?

freetoair
50%
50%
freetoair,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:17 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell
no one else gets it either...

...but vendors and the media/analysts hype it...so carriers try it...why not...

again this dog is on the same path as FMC (which was a media/vendor/analyst favorite not so long ago)...all hail FMC -- all hail Femto...yeah yeah yeah
macster
50%
50%
macster,
User Rank: Light Bulb
12/5/2012 | 4:13:17 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell
I don't get it. You pay the phone company to provide the service including coverage and backhaul. Now they want you to pay them for a femtocell and you get to pay for the coverage and backhaul they are meant to be providing.

So if this thing has a 5000 foot (1.5km!) range no doubt you will be providing backhaul and coverage for quite a few other people. Even if that figure is out by an order of magnitude it's still a very big area. Perhaps one reason why there is no EVDO support.

Sounds like a great deal. For the phone company.

For doing this they should be paying you.

I predict market failure.


-------------------------------------------------

Usage of home Node B's (femtos) depend on "user groups" (or closed user groups). Femtos and UEs will have such information. As such, unlike unsecured WiFi, you don't unwillingly share your connection.
lrmobile_millomar
50%
50%
lrmobile_millomar,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:17 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell
I don't get it. You pay the phone company to provide the service including coverage and backhaul. Now they want you to pay them for a femtocell and you get to pay for the coverage and backhaul they are meant to be providing.

So if this thing has a 5000 foot (1.5km!) range no doubt you will be providing backhaul and coverage for quite a few other people. Even if that figure is out by an order of magnitude it's still a very big area. Perhaps one reason why there is no EVDO support.

Sounds like a great deal. For the phone company.

For doing this they should be paying you.

I predict market failure.
macster
50%
50%
macster,
User Rank: Light Bulb
12/5/2012 | 4:13:16 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell
Cowboy,

That's true. For the likes of AT&T, having a femto solution is useful, given the dreadful indoor coverage in NA (unlike Europe where one can estimate the indoor traffic to be about 80%).

You ought to have no worries about others "tapping" into your connection - think secured WiFi (something like that).

Femtos make use of DSL specs, e.g. TR69, etc. Nothing wrong with that, but my concerns are around this. Especially in the (majority?) of cases where the mobile operator does not have their own DSL network.

Oh, and handover issue are not sorted yet in standards, from macro to home node b - so your call will drop when you get out of the car into your home - lol.



Mac

P.S. I hear you loud and clear :)
paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:12 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell

Just FYI, I had a UMA phone from T-mobile and could access my secure wifi at home. I switched to a G-1 because a) my t-mobile signal got beter and b) I have a cable modem and can tell you first hand about poor voip quality over cable (over DSL no problemo).

seven
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:12 PM
re: Verizon Intros Femtocell
Let us know how it goes. Thanks

DJ
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (1) comment


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
LRTV Documentaries
AT&T's New Security Strategy

12|10|14   |   02:36   |   (1) comment


AT&T's Chief Security Officer Ed Amoroso explains how his company is wrapping virtual security layers around micro network domains.
LRTV Documentaries
2020 Vision: A First View

12|9|14   |   02:25   |   (3) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Iceland, unique Heavy Reading research shows that comms service providers are optimistic about the next five or so years.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Cisco Makes Big Analytics Push
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/11/2014
Gardner's Departure a Cautionary Tale
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive