Brother, Can You Spare a Femto?
Mosaic CEO Rick Vergin told attendees here that the biggest problem the operator has had with its plans was actually just obtaining the femtocells.
The operator has had incredible bad luck with its femto vendors. Originally, Mosaic had contracted Airvana Inc. to supply the 3G UMTS femtos. "But Airvana changed direction and canceled plans for providing femtos [for UMTS]," said Vergin. "Then, Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH) did the same thing. I've never seen that happen once, let alone twice." Then, Arcadyan Technology Corp. was going to supply the femtos, but didn't for some reason. (See NSN, Airvana Score US Femto Deal, Airvana Out of the UMTS Femto Business? and Airvana Going Private for $530M.)
Finally, Nokia Networks stepped up in its system integrator role and now Vergin said he is hopeful of getting femtos from Ubiquisys Ltd. in July so that he can finally launch services in August.
The reason why Mosaic had such trouble getting femtos for its network is because it operates in Band 4 AWS spectrum, which not many femto vendors support, and the operator's product orders are in the thousands, not millions.
Although small, Mosaic's deployment will be interesting. The operator just launched Long Term Evolution (LTE) as a DSL replacement in the rural areas that it serves, using a router device from BandRich Inc. . It also plans to use those LTE connections as the broadband backhaul for the residential femtocells.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile