Wimax femtocells at Comcast

June 24th, 2008 by · 3 Comments

Well, now it is starting to make sense.  When they participated in the Clearwire deal, it seems that Comcast extracted some spectrum for Wimax femtocells.  Femtocells are like little wireless cells in your home instead of on the tower nearby, and they only cover your house.  Sound like anything you might use now?  Yes, to me such a device would seem to replace the wireless router many people now use for home networking.  Technical differences don't matter here, Comcast can do what they did with VoIP - bundle it and call it digital phone so nobody is scared off.  Here they will bundle it and call it something like Comcast Home Wireless Link or Comcast Wireless Digital Phone or something that sounds like a natural extension to their current service.  Then they only have to pay wholesale to Clearwire outside the home, and the same devices will work inside and outside, since all are wimax.

I'm no fan of Comcast, but I have to say it seems like an elegant solution.  One can envision them keeping their digital phone lineup - you can keep your current phones, they plug right into the box.  Or you can upgrade to any wimax handset that operates exactly the same except that it doesn't plug in and keeps on working when you take it to the mall.  It won't be a quad play, it will be an enhancement to their triple play.  Now, I have no doubt that on implementation of this grand concept Comcast will earn more of Ike's BUNGL awards, but the general idea looks smoother to me than FIOS plus LTE for instance.

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Categories: VoIP · Wireless

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3 Comments So Far


  • tech101 says:

    One of the most crucial feature of femtocell network is that it relays cell phone signals to save cost for mobile communications when you are at home.

  • Frank A. Coluccio says:

    Tech101, what you have described has become classically known as fixed-wireless convergence, or FMC, which was originally (and continues to be) supported by residential WiFi. One would think that the WiMAX variant would do likewise, although I’ve not seen such spelled out explicitly yet, but I’m almost certain it does this too.

    The main thrust behind both of these residential approaches to availing wireless services has been the ability of the wireline operator to sidestep or otherwise mitigate the burdens associated with supporting orders of magnitue more backhaul bandwidth from base stations by leveraging the end users’ HFC, DSL and FTTx loops — loops, by the way, that those end users are already paying for, and in so doing those loops will support yet additional RGUs for the provider. Hm ..

  • Frank A. Coluccio says:

    Vodafone Dreams of Metro Femto
    JUNE 25, 2008 | Unstrung

    Femtocells could one day proliferate in metropolitan areas at bus stops, on lamp posts, or on buildings, if Vodafone Group plc’s vision for a hotspot deployment of femto access points becomes reality.

    The giant mobile operator’s head of new technologies and innovation, Kenny Graham, proposed taking the mini home base stations out of the home/office and onto the streets at the Femtocells Europe 2008 conference in London Wednesday morning.

    Cont.: http://www.unstrung.com/document.asp?doc_id=157410

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