My ex-BT colleague is keen on the Femto idea – he must be because he founded the leading provider today of Femto cells. When he first spoke to me about Femto cells my reaction was that if the only benefit is cheap home calls from my mobile then operators only need to tweak their home zone charging to avoid making the investment in Femto cells. The key for me to their attractiveness therefore lies elsewhere and Len’s response was spot on – operators can cut the costs of the their networks by pushing traffic off the macro network and also gain a foothold in the household at the entry point of broadband in the home.
We now see that Femto cells have the capacity to act as an any-device hub in the home and a mobile hub outside. Sending an MMS home for your kids to see a picture on the TV of your recent trip and many other variants with heavy media types will become a possibility.
I presume that once the trials are complete we will see the equipment manufacturers buying up the start-ups in this space.