Femtocell technology is integrated into mobile networks in almost the same way as all other small cell systems. Its main advantage is that it does not require a centralized hub, which is needed by other network solutions, such as the distributed antenna.
Femtocells are usually deployed in places where there is an existing return network or a place where recovery can occur without much difficulty or capital investment.
Why choose the Femtocell network?
Despite their limited capacity, Femtocells have certain advantages over other small mobile devices that benefit both individuals and businesses.
Due to its low power, the implementation of Femtocell is less expensive than its counterparts and, in certain situations, can provide mobile cellular connectivity.
Femtocell for the Home
Femtocells for consumers can be used to transform an existing Internet connection into a mobile service provider.
It may sound contradictory, but many people in the United States have access to broadband but cannot make calls from anywhere in their home, and for those faced with the technology, the Femtocell is your best option.
Here’s why: the femtocells act like a small, literally small, mobile base station the size of a wireless phone base station, and can easily connect to a modem on your home Internet network.
Femtocell then converts your home broadband connection into a usable mobile signal that can be used to make phone calls and send and receive SMS.
In a scenario like this, a femtocell system may be the absolute best choice, especially for consumers who cannot use Wi-Fi calls with their current contacts and their cell phone provider.
Most people, especially those running a small home-based business, still need a reliable mobile signal to run their business. The Femtocell network can provide a connection to 5 bars from anywhere in the home.
Unfortunately, this cellular connection comes at a price. Since Femtocell uses an existing broadband connection to generate a mobile signal, a loss of broadband speed may be observed in certain situations when phone calls and web browser behavior (especially transmissions or downloads) coincide.
However, if your home office broadband connection is currently 50 Mbps or higher, your Internet connection should remain perfectly stable, even if you choose to use both at the same time.
Femtocells for Companies and Offices
Femtocells for commercial and office spaces obtaining a clear cellular signal through the layers of glass and drywall that make up commercial or office spaces can be difficult, especially in buildings with windows—specially designed and coated to be reflective. Fortunately, Femtocell networks are perfectly capable of helping in situations like this.
As used for home applications, the Femtocell architecture can be fully connected to an existing office broadband network to provide mobile service to everyone from the inside.
If the online desktop subscription is large enough, multiple femtocells can be placed strategically around the desktop to provide extensive network coverage.
And again, because Femtocell technology can be implemented at a fraction of the cost of large, small cell systems, Femtocell networks are ideal for small businesses operating on tight budgets, especially when coverage requires only ‘a small space or a limited number of individuals.
Benefits of Femtocell
Despite the relatively limited range and capacity of the Femtocell network, their low power often makes it a small selected cell. Before the deployment of a small cell network begins, the target space must be analyzed for certain limiting factors that can cause interference with the network signal.
The result of this analysis often limits the use of cellular technologies. Small higher due to the potential for signal interference.
For all small cell systems, there is a “shading effect” with a signal which must be taken into account when designing a small cell network. For some small cells, such as microcells, the transmitted signal is strong enough that, if placed too close to another transmitting microcell, the two signals can interfere and cause degradation of the signal.
This shading effect can cause severe problems at the selected location if it is full of obstacles that interfere with the signal.
For example, suppose your office space is organized in such a way that there is a combination of cabinets and small closed spaces used for meetings. These areas are segregated by glass, concrete, and other building materials that can disturb the microcell signal.
And the worst part is that sometimes adding additional microcells to the desktop will only increase the signal, but here the femtocells shine.
Due to its small space, the Femtocell architecture allows several antennas to be placed around the area, providing the necessary network connectivity without interrupting the Femtocell network signal while simultaneously canceling the effects of interference.
In this scenario, femtocells can be calculatedly placed near and around the cabinet, as well as inside any indoor meeting room, to ensure a stable cellular connection and avoid the shadow effect.
Disadvantages of Femtocell
The use of Femtocell makes sense in some areas, such as at home and in the office, but there are possibilities that the signal may be exposed to interference from more extensive macrocell networks.
If the Femtocell network is designed within the macrocellular network, the Femtocell network can break and become unstable.
However, this interference can be reduced by installing additional Femtocell antennas, since several antennas will amplify the signal of the Femtocell mini-cell in a more extensive macrocell network.
Opportunities for owners
In some situations, especially in crowded urban environments, mobile providers have no choice but to turn to Femtocells to extend network connectivity, even though each Femtocell can only support a few users at the same time.
In addition to the home and office, femtocells are usually found in places like small cafes, libraries, and on the roofs of some apartment buildings where there is a need for additional cellular connectivity.
As such, mobile service providers will, in some situations, need to rent properties to develop these small cellular sites to implement the Femtocell architecture. These Femtocell leases can offer owners substantial rental rates.
The Future of Femtocell Technology
For small locations or locations that have many signal interference barriers, Femtocell technology will continue to be a popular network solution.
Their low power consumption makes them an attractive alternative to other more massive and more expensive small cell solutions, mainly when a few individual users only meet the need for network connectivity at a time.
However, for the informal consumer at home, the future of Femtocells is not so sure. Although Femtocell networks are small, low-power, and easy to deploy, mobile service providers are quickly embracing the ability to provide Wi-Fi calling, which competes directly with Femtocell’s capabilities.
As popular messaging apps increasingly distract traditional text messaging users, the need for a reliable home mobile connection is likely to decrease.