While the initial concept for femtocells was to provide, or improve, 3G inbuilding coverage, operators appear to be finding the 2G versions more attractive. The French operator, Bouygues Telecom, has requested Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to design and build Pico GSM base stations (femtocells) so it can gain additional call revenues by deploying them within large offices and shopping malls.
The NSN femtocells, which start deployment by Bouygues Telecom this month, are designed to be a plug-and-play solution for the customers, requiring an Internet connection to interoperate with the operator's network.
Ericsson, the largest infrastructure provider, has also recently stated that there is growing operator interest in 2G femtocells and against 3G femtocells which were perceived as enabling mobile broadband into the home. However, with fixed broadband reaching saturation point, the potential for 3G femtocells is now being re-evaluated.