As ABI Research recently noted, femtocells (you may call them picocells) could disrupt the already weak dual-mode handset market because the mini-basestations provide greater 3G coverage in the home, eliminating the need for WiFi-based fixed-mobile convergence solutions. Well, perhaps ABI knew about O2's announcement today to launch a femtocell fixed-mobile convergence solution in the U.K. Pundits say the rival WiFi-based solutions require "expensive handsets" that currently have low battery life, call handover issues and potential WiFi interference problems. Femtocells, of course, are compatible with your everyday handset, which may be why ABI's Stuart Carlaw predicted that four years from now there will be 102 million users of femtocell products on 32 million APs worldwide.
For more on O2's femtocell decision:
- see this article from IT Week
- for more on femtocells check out this article