Femtocells on my DSL Line?

I wrote about the femtocell phenomenon on my 27 Sept 2007 blog posting and how femtocells relate to WiFi access points, who will provide wireless communications in our homes, and how will these offers be priced. Well, to throw more fuel on the fire, Verizon Wireless announced today on FierceWireless that they will “begin offering femtocell products and services plans sometime this year”, according to Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone. I’m less interested in the notion of the femtocell device (there are plenty of spectral and traffic engineering hurdles that need solutions) but considerably more interested in how the femtocells will connect to the wireless operators core.
In a more detailed article on AP, there is the following excerpt:
“Perhaps best of all, the device sends all calls over the subscriber’s home broadband connection, usually DSL or cable, so the carrier doesn’t have to pay to carry the traffic from the femtocell to its network. “Backhaul” traffic, which runs calls from cellular towers to the wired network, is a major cost for carriers.”
Hmm. Let me think now. T1/E1 backhaul is one of the largest (if not THE largest) recurring expense for wireless operators today. Wireless operators pay the wired landline carriers for their backhaul from cell sites to the core site. Femtocells in our homes connected to our DSL or cable modems where we get our Internet access from the local access provider. We all pay the local access provider for the “backhaul” of our WiFi access points, home routers, PCs, etc. Hence we are subsidizing the backhaul of the femtocell for the wireless operator to obtain coverage footprint in our homes. And yet, Sprint is charging $50 for their femtocell (from Samsung) and $15 per month service for unlimited calls from home…I assume only for handsets on the particular calling plan, not EVERY Sprint subscriber who happens to be in my home or connecting to my femtocell. And it IS my femtocell if I’ve paid $50 for it, right?
So should I be negotiating a “leased line” rate with Verizon to have them connect their femtocell from my home to their core network? I’m sure Comcast (my local access provider and ISP) would have something to say about that as I don’t have a reseller agreement with Comcast to resell the access line. And I haven’t read anything about Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile (they have Hotspot@Home for WiFi-cell handovers) negotiating new broadband leased line rates with the access providers for the home subscribers they are selling their home cellular service plans.
I’ve heard the press announcements talk about better coverage while at home and reduced load on the wide-area cellular network. So why would have I have to pay anything for backhauling the femtocell to Verizon’s core network on behalf of Verizon given that they don’t incur ANY of the backhaul costs they do from standard cellular sites?What are your thoughts on this? Does it matter since we’re in the “new” Internet model and the traffic that would originate from a femtocell on my broadband access line would be miniscule or insignificant? Or we missing something here?


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