Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Femtocell Providers Search for a Purpose

Wireless carriers may still be focused on the wrong customer need. Consumers often do not care about which particular technology provides them with service -- but consumers always care about quality and the consequent benefits of those services.

ABI Research believes femtocell solution providers must recognize this fact and then direct attention toward the development of potential services that can be enabled by an intelligent femtocell solution, especially with the majority of technical hurdles already overcome.

Not only is this critical in differentiating from competitive solutions such as Dual-Mode Wi-Fi solutions, but also it will be critical in ensuring profitability for carriers.

ABI Research vice president Stuart Carlaw states that "with a very conservative uptake of new innovative services enabled by femtocell solutions, it could take as much as five years before carriers go into the black following the trials on femtocell solutions."

"It is important to put this into context: nearly 75 percent of consumers in developments buy the solutions of more than two services. It is apparent that creating services beyond the go-to-market, cheap voice strategy will be crucial. And this will enable marketers to push the femtocell beyond the early adopters."

A service bundle that encompasses a comprehensive set of wrap-around services -- and links devices into a connected home concept -- will be a clear differentiator going forward. Moreover, it is imperative that service providers capitalize on Web 2.0 services by embracing service concepts such as cache and carry, where rich media files are swapped within the femtocell where service quality and cost are more favorable.

A recent report from ABI Research finds that femtocell ASP has far less bearing on cost than the ongoing support and marketing needs that will be essential to making any service-launch successful.