Feeds

The death of the mobile phone tower?

Eaten by pregnant lamppost

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Mobile World Congress While they sneer at people who flock to weeping statues, the British middle class may be the most superstitious people on the planet. But at least one object of their irrational fears, the mobile phone mast, may be on its way out.

That's due to the falling cost of a femtocell, a micro base station about the size of a cable modem. With the cost of a femtocell reckoned to fall to around $50 in a couple of years, the economics don't favour today's high-rise erections. Femtocells strung from lampposts have real economic advantages, especially when the site acquisition costs and lengthy planning and consultation procedures for masts are taken into account.

One established vendor reports that a mobile operator is set to deploy LTE on femtocells in preference to masts in all but rural areas.

These femtocells need backhaul, of course, and power – although Vodafone is trialling a new generation of "pregnant lampposts" that combines both. Strangely, both "pregnant lamppost" and "pregnant lampposts" are perfect Googlewhacks at the time of writing. You read it here first...

Mobile operators have found some ingenious ways of disguising the cells. Palm Tree installations are a common sight in Los Angeles, and Mike Pratt has a gallery of British and other masts here.

Mobile phone mast

There's something odd about that tree... [credit: Mike Pratt]

Who'll buy me a femtocell?

Femtocells were the most-talked about technology of MWC 2008, and this year will see serious trials take place. O2 is an example we discussed earlier in the week. Which begs the question - "Why the %&*! would I want one?"

And while the topic deserves much more in-depth treatment, read on for why you should drive a really hard bargain.

Since what the operators are really doing is sticking a proprietary front-end onto an open network (and one that we already pay for) we ought to be demanding some really attractive deals.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.