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Femtocell-Aware Mobile Handsets

  • ID: 616013
  • June 2008
  • Region: Global
  • 91 Pages
  • Disruptive Analysis

The femtocell industry is currently focusing on the short term – getting initial trials in place, developing standards, and securing commitments for early commercial deployment. These are all critical to validate the market, raise the profile of the femto concept, and stimulate finance and investment. A central marketing proposition is that femtocells can work with normal 3G handsets, without needing subscribers to be provided with expensive upgrades to their existing phones.

But while focus is good – and the industry does not want unnecessary distractions – there is a risk of medium-term failure if certain future problems are not addressed early enough, even if this muddies the waters of the short-term marketing message. Already, femto proponents are talking up massmarket business models that go beyond simple indoor coverage and macro-network offload. They are talking about 10’s of millions of subscribers, and new “in-home” services for users, that exploit fast and cheap local mobile connectivity.

It is at that stage that handset innovations become more important. In part, this relates to complexities in managing the radio environment READ MORE >

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

Methodology, definitions and assumptions
Structure of this report

For femtocell suppliers and network system integrators
For mobile operators
For handset and silicon vendors
For OS providers and application developers
For standards and requirement-setting organisations
For investors and consultants


What are femtocells?
Femtocell market drivers
“Femtocells work with standard handsets”
Market status & timelines
Network architectures
Problems with femtocell models
Advocates, players & leaders
Standards and requirements bodies

What’s in a handset? Basic device architecture guide
Structure of the handset industry
Smartphones vs featurephones
Case study: how have handsets been optimised for WiFi
Why haven’t picocells required special handsets?
Practicalities of developing femto-specific handsets
Time-to-market for femto-aware handsets
Addressable market size
Devil’s advocate: workarounds & normal handsets

Lessons from WiFi, DECT & other wireless technologies
Optimising handset design to work better with the femto itself
Modifying handsets to cope with new femto-based use cases
New form-factors for femto-optimised devices
Handset accessories

The role of handset hardware platforms
Femtocell network architecture – is it relevant?
RF components
Baseband and 3G/4G protocol stacks
A central problem – handset cell selection/reselection
The medium-term future: 3GPP Release 8 & closed subscriber groups
Administering femtocell CSGs – impact on handsets?
Home registration areas
3GPP2 and femtocells
Cell reselection, redirection and handover
WiMAX and femtocells
Interference management
Handset hardware – other issues
Power management & battery
Processor and memory architecture
Display and other input/output components
Test and measurement
Should femto-aware handsets have WiFi as well?

Mobile OS overview
Bearer information layer
Killing the “bearer agnostic” and “seamless mobility” myths
The role of the femto-aware connection manager
Non-IP connections and femtocells
Current work on handset OS connection managers
Symbian OS and Freeway
The Java Community’s extension JSR-307
Windows Mobile
Google’s Android platform
LIMO - LiMo (Linux Mobile) Foundation
Apple iPhone
RIM BlackBerry OS
Third-party PC connection managers
Standardisation efforts
Other issues
Service vs. access
APIs and developer tools
Operator-provided vs. “vanilla” handsets
Can the OS or connection manager be updated on existing phones?
Handset resource management
DLNA / UPnP client

On-device application issues
What is a femto-aware or femto-optimised application?
Femto-aware vs Homezone-aware
Lessons from WiFi handset applications
Telco 2.0 and femto-aware applications
Bearer-aware vs. bearer-managing applications
Alternatives to femto-specific operation
Network-driven femtocell applications
Can femtocells replace WiFi/wireless LAN?
Femtozone icons and UI elements
Updating applications for femto-awareness without replacing the phone?
Major categories of handset client software
Photo / video / content backup
Mobile multimedia – including TV
Local file and content-sharing
Downloads and updates
Core applications: dialler, phonebook, SMS/MMS etc
Security and m-commerce
Advanced presence
IMS framework / Rich communication suite (RCS)
Femto provisioning and management applications
Accessory for consumer electronics products
Environmental applications
Advertising and marketing
Location-specific applications

Intellectual Property Rights / Disclaimer

Figure 1: Forecast femtocell shipments, 2008-2013, baseline/optimistic
Figure 2: Baseline forecast femtocell shipments, 2008-2013
Figure 3: Simplified representation of handset architecture
Figure 4: Example handset software architecture: Access Linux Platform
Figure 5: Example of handset hardware architecture
Figure 6: Femtos risk hype/bust cycle if handset time-to-market ignored
Figure 7: Forecast femto installed base, 2008-2013, baseline/optimistic
Figure 8: Baseline forecast femtocell installed base, 2008-2013
Figure 9: Potential addressable market for femto-aware phones, 2008-13
Figure 10: New WiFi-based devices highlight possible path for femtos
Figure 11: Femto selection / reselection issues with legacy handsets
Figure 12: Handset aware of “home area” limits femto attach attempts
Figure 13: Example 2 - Access Linux OS architecture
Figure 14: Example - Google Android OS architecture
Figure 15: The role of a handset “bearer intelligence layer”
Figure 16: The connection manager paradox
Figure 17: Java JSR307 architecture
Figure 18: LIMO handset architecture
Figure 19: Total operator wVoIP opportunity, VoIPo3G vs VoWLAN

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

This report has been written during early and mid-2008, based on interviews and desk research with femtocell specialists, conducted over that period and the preceding 2 years. Disruptive Analysis has covered the picocell and femtocell market since 2001, and has conducted hundreds of briefings and interviews during that time, with operators, vendors, regulators, consultants and other market participants.

The early findings have been discussed with many of the same group, and iterations made to the analysis where appropriate. Given the forward-looking nature of this report, and its advocacy of a future direction for the industry, there have been some dissenting voices. Where appropriate, alternative viewpoints have been highlighted.

The methodology behind the quantitative forecasts in this report are described in more detail in the relevant chapters.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


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