Femto offload will cut network cost, says forum

Nicole McCormick
24 Mar 2010
Daily News

LTE or Wimax operators stand to gain big returns from their femtocell investments, according to new research for the Femto Forum.

“A sample operator with 10 million LTE or Wimax subscribers deploying femtocells to 10% of their base is able to realize a return on their incremental femtocell investment of more than 10 times,” according to the study by the Signals Research Group (SRG).

SRG also concluded that macro-offload network savings “easily exceed” the cost of the femtocell, and that customer lifetime value also “increases by two to 10 times in representative scenarios.”

SRG also looked specifically at how LTE and Wimax network rollout plans can be impacted by femtocells.

One strategy explored in the study involved an operator giving away free femtocells to early LTE/Wimax subscribers.

The research found such a scenario “could be funded by implementing a delay in macrocell buildout, deferring 4% to 10% of the planned macrocell sites, depending upon the scenario.”

"This research shows that femtocells provide a pronounced user experience improvement while also delivering measurable financial returns for operators," said Simon Saunders, Femto Forum chairman.

"It would be hard to mimic the femto LTE experience with the macrocell network alone even if you were to put a base station on the roof of every house.”

The forum believes that the vast majority of LTE usage is going to be in homes and offices.

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