Light Reading
Softbank is one of the first operators to offer free femtocells, as it ramps up a national service in Japan

Softbank Kicks Off Free Femto Giveaway

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
6/30/2010
50%
50%

SoftBank Corp. has started offering femtocells for free in Japan as it ramps up its national service this year, a move that could spur other operators to adopt the same model for the small home base stations.

The move comes as operators, such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), have come under fire from some industry pundits for their femto prices and service offerings. (See AT&T Defends Data Caps on Femtos , AT&T Enforces Data Cap on Femtos , Vodafone Femto Ads Banned , Femto Watch: Vodafone Means Business in Spain, and Femto Watch: Vodafone Expands Footprint .)

Not only are Softbank's femtocells offered for free, but so is the ADSL connection, when customers sign up to a two-year contract.

Another twist in Softbank's strategy is that the access points are configured for open access, which means that any Softbank subscriber within range of a femtocell can use it. Most femto services today are offered on a closed access basis, which allows only registered users to use the access point.

Softbank's radical femto moves could encourage other operators to adopt this kind of service model, according to Will Franks, CTO of Ubiquisys Ltd. , which supplies the femto access points to Softbank through its system integrator partner, NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701). (See NEC, Ubiquisys Win Softbank Femto Deal.)

"[Softbank] can give femtos away for free and others can, too," he says. "If others can, then they will."

Franks says that operators' ability to embrace the free femtocell model will depend on their cost structure. For Softbank, he explains, two of the factors that enable the free femto model are the low cost of the femto access points (which use Percello Ltd. chipsets) and the operator's IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based femtocell network architecture. (See Ubiquisys Busts $100 Femto Barrier and Ubiquisys Femtos Go Soft.)

"Softbank has a very scalable model; they chose an IMS architecture, which is very cost-efficient," Franks says. "As others start to move to the next stages, they'll be able to bring their costs down."

Softbank started taking orders for the free femtocells in May and expects to ship 200,000 access points to users this year.

Other operators offering femto services in Japan include NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) and KDDI Corp. (See DoCoMo to Upgrade Its Femtos and KDDI Tests Airvana's 3G Femtos.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
shygye75
50%
50%
shygye75,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:31:03 PM
re: Softbank Kicks Off Free Femto Giveaway


Using femtos as free bait to attract more customers to mobile voice service as a replacement for wireline is the right move, and the one initially envisioned for these products. The free DSL service is a bit aggressive, but billionaires can do stuff like that.

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:30:58 PM
re: Softbank Kicks Off Free Femto Giveaway


I'd agree, because this is how I'd thought femtocells were going to be deployed in the first place.  Once I found out operators wanted me to PAY for the privilege of enhancing their networks, I lost all (consumer) interest in femtocells.

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 Custom TV
Razorsight Expert's Advice on Real-Time Analytics

11|27|14   |   1:43   |   (0) comments


Razorsight's powerful cloud-based Predictive Analytics solutions are used by the world's leading communications and media brands to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. Get expert advice.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
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
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Net Neutrality Even Mark Cuban Could Love
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/26/2014
Eurobites: Net Neutrality Battle Looms
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/27/2014
Why 5G Is a Different Beast
Robert Clark, 11/26/2014
New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2014
Amazon Eyes Ad-Supported Video – NY Post
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 11/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed