Broadband Comes Home

4:50 PM -- Hi there, Broadbanders!

Femtocell is the -- frankly awkward -- word on everyone's lips this week as wide-area wireless broadband comes home with the creation of a new industry forum dedicated to home base stations and several large European carriers reveal they are examining their options in this space.

A raft of vendors and operators have now got behind the idea of using a tiny cellular radio unit to improve coverage and boost download speeds in the home with the Femto Forum. Meanwhile, Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) are helping to make industry dreams a reality by taking their first steps toward actually deploying these boxes. (See Industry Forms Femto Forum, FT Preps Femtocell RFP, and Vodafone RFP Fuels Femtocells.)

But you can't stay indoors all day so let's take a look at what's happening in the wider world of broadband this week.

Airspan's fixed fall-off
When you get rid of the old, can you bring the new in fast enough? It can be a problem as Airspan Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AIRN) is finding out. The firm says it will report less than expected revenues for the second quarter of 2007 because sales of its traditional fixed wireless products are falling away fast. "WiMax momentum continues," the firm claims. (See Airspan Expects Lower Revenues.)

Moscow MAX
In Soviet Russia WiMax network deploys you!

Everyone's talking about hybrids
Wireless hybrids, that is. Nortel Networks Ltd. is the latest to speak up about fat pipes.

WiMax security
Promising, but not perfect yet.


— The Staff, Unstrung

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