For years the mobile operators have avoided the reality of the situation when it comes to coverage and solutions. Now comes a report from the New York Times that the leading mobile operators in the USA are contending that wireless boosters interfere with the smooth running of their networks. What's ironic is those "boosters" and some from larger more established technology companies have been around for a few years, and were often used at large technology events to enable coverage in the past. But now, with an investment in femtocell made, the mobile operators are screaming foul, and seeking assistance from their trade body, CTIA and the FCC to limit or eliminate the use of the wireless boosters when in reality the solution to provide coverage in many places really has been Wi-Fi.
The genesis of this craziness stems from something called IMS, a failed idea that was to bring IP and Mobile worlds together, fostered years ago. IMS purists continue to pound away on their idea, and in turn, support/defend their entire approaches over the last ten years or so when it comes to how the mobile world operates. But while IMS may be at the core the right idea, it isn't the solution, and has not proven to be. Femtocells stem from that thinking. Why someone needs to buy a Femtocell to boost coverage, or even a wireless booster to fill in the gap inside a house or office building is even needed is the real issue because for many years Fixed Mobile Convergence technology has been offered to the carriers, and only T-Mobile in the USA, and Orange in France has even dipped their toes in the FMC water, with a UMA solution from Kineto Wireless. This all plays into the idea of Voice Call Continuity that enables a seamless handover between the mobile/cellular network the way the technology from client CounterPath does, based on it's acquisition a few years ago of BridgePort Networks (a former client) which was demonstrated by CEO Donovan Jones this past spring at eComm in San Francisco.
The answer lies in FMC, with the mobile operators and broadband suppliers working together to enable the enterprise, small business and residential customers the ability to use what they already have, and what works to have complete coverage not in Femtoland, where the customer has to buy one more piece of hardware to use at the edge, when FMC technology can solve the problem at the core. For years smartphones have had both 3G and Wi-Fi capability. The software for the phones to be able to switch has been around too. Rather than to have people keep spending more money to solve the problem, all the network folks have to do is let the solutions that are already available come alive. Then, the problem of coverage holes begins to go away, and less and less duplication and overspending goes away too.