Carrier Network Operations (Tail) vs. Marketing (Dog)
Top 10 Reasons Why Network Operations Don't Like Femtocells
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard carriers give the poor excuse that the mini base stations aka femtocells are too costly and expensive for consumers. In my opinion its a horrible excuse and here are 10 reasons why. Marketing 101 class in business school always preaches, go to market with a with high price point and then lower it to reach the masses (ie. iPhone). I know many people that live in high end homes in Southern California that have expensive things and yet have zero coverage at their home. You are telling me that they wouldn't be willing to spend $200 or $10 per month a service like this? Bogus comments from ivory tower executives who are simply puppets to their internal politics.
Carriers have barely even tried testing price points for femtocells in U.S. and I believe the "tail is waging the dog" internally at these wireless operators. What do I mean by this? Marketing teams are constantly saying I can't sell phones in Palos Verdes, CA because we don't have good coverage there. Network operations people are saying I can't handle a fire house of new mini base stations to manage on the network. Who is right and who will win. Apparently, Vodafone seems to be the first carrier that has cracked the internal marketing politics and are starting to push the products not without resistance however.
Top 10 Reasons Why Carrier Network Operations Don't Like Femtocells:
1) Carriers are lazy and don't want radical change to their networks
2) Network operations folks don't know how to handle thousands of additional nodes
3) Wi-Fi offloading is cheaper and less reliable
4) Fear of another iPhone like mistake underestimating demand
5) Fear additional customer service issues
6) Who ever owns the fixed broadband line into the home (cable) wins
7) Wire line broadband companies like Cox, Comcast & Time Warner have control
8) Admitting deficiencies in the network is against the culture9) Fear of legal liability or class action using their own coverage maps as leverage
10) Technical interference issues with base stations too close together in neighborhoods
So far carriers that are considering femtocells are: Vodafone UK, AT&T (trials), Verizon (must pull teeth to get one). See Vodafone Sure Signal UK promotion and reportedly gaining some success with its ‘Sure Signal' femtocell product (albeit after a disastrous launch). Orange and T-Mobile have both stated a preference for Wi-Fi could see the operator community split along technology lines for in-building coverage. We speculate that a Vodafone & Verizon merger would be great for its US customers who want iPhones and 3G femtocells embedded in FIOS.
Not considering femtocells are: Orange, Deutsche Telekom, (T-Mobile) Good article to read here as well: Femtocells remain too expensive, claims Orange VP