I came across an interesting idea today, from picoChip’s Rupert Baines in the ‘Friday Feature’ of FierceWireless email newsletter.

Rupert set the problem up by talking about the features of 3G – higher frequency, higher data rates and longer attenuation rates – which don’t work so well in-buildings or through walls. He proposed that there is a need for 3G access points for inside your home or office that would be connected over broadband to the operators’ VoIP server.

Rupert describes three problems to the idea:

  • Cost – macro base stations cost $100k each. To be consumer-appropriate it needs to be in the sub-$200 range.
  • Spectrum management – carrier network planning needs to take into account these devices automatically in order to minimize interference.
  • Provisioning and integration with the core network should be automatic to facilitate QoS, security and billing.

I find this proposal interesting and desirable for phone companies, but not that helpful for people.

In my house for example, the WiFi network connects all our PCs, the server, the NBX phone system and my IP phones. It’s a multipurpose, multi-application environment. Dual mode service would be useful to me, perhaps letting me ditch the PBX in favor of a single number mobile services. What’s nice about dual mode or even WiFi implementations, is that it works for less than $60/unit and automatically links me to the core of a range of my services – oh, and I don’t need the phone company’s permission to do it. That’s a huge advantage. I don’t see what this would give me that I can’t already get.

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