Feeds

The death of the mobile phone tower?

Eaten by pregnant lamppost

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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?