Price is a critical factor to successful femtocell deployment, Chunghwa Telecom’s mobile chief Shih Mu-Piao said at Femtocell Asia 2011 this week.
Shi told attendees that vendors should look toward keeping prices below $100, or even $50.
Chunghwa Telecom has trialed femto technology for two years but has yet to launch a commercial service due to regulatory and technical issues. No date has been set for a commercial femto rollout.
Government regulations in Taiwan have classified femtocells as base stations, with operators assuming responsibility for installation. All femto locations are required to be reported to the regulator.
“It’s taken almost two years, but the new rulings will help femto deployment in Taiwan,” said Shih. “3G operators have become more aggressive in evaluating and planning femto deployment, and ICT manufacturers in the country can help keep femtocell costs low.”
Chunghwa’s plan for femto deployment includes first enhancing coverage in areas with poor network reception. The next phase of deployment will center upon the offload its 3.5G network.
“Femto could fill the same role Wi-Fi does in offloading network traffic. We already have WiFi hotspots in 7-11 stores and McDonald’s outlets; femto could bring new life to Wi-Fi,” Shih said.