For a while I've been thinking about the whole femtocell issue. This week AT&T just announced more trials in more markets to give you more bars in even more places. The issue I keep wondering is how long the broadband providers will keep allowing AT&T to free ride over their pipe. That answer though may be more complex than we know, as AT&T provides super fat connectivity to many of the cable operators the same way that Level3 and Sprint do, so more than likely, in those agreements are clauses that address this type of thing.
What's ironic here is had the carriers deployed real Fixed Mobile Convergence inside their networks, then a WiFi router and a smartphone could have handled all this and likely for far less. But, after reading that a MicroCell covers 5,000 square feet, if the carriers strings together enough of these, they can add coverage where no cell phone has gone before. Net gain for them, and the customer pays for it. That means lower capex and opex for the big guys, higher monthly revenues and more money out of your pocket.