Verizon has announced it is finally going to step up to the plate and provide 3G EVDO femtocellsfrom itscurrent limited2G offering presentfor almost two yearsnow. This was announced ina ratherlow keypress releaseearlier today
With that it has joined AT&T and Sprint who both offer 3G femtocells in the US. Thetakeawaysforme with thisare
-VZWhavestuck on with Samsung as the EVDO femtocell supplier. They probably aremovingtowards a richer diversity of suppliers later on but wereslightlyconscious ofthe additional cost needed to switch suppliers at this point. The points below support this argument to some extent.
-Theyare still selling the femto at an exceptionally high price point of $250 which is not verydifferent from the 2G femto when it was first launcged. Both Sprint and AT&T are giving their 3G femtos away for free (on a selective basis).VZWstill call the box aNetworkExtender (think of a worse marketing name than that!). All of whichsuggests to me that they aren't really keen on publicizing or marketing their product.
- In summary verylackluster in terms of pricingoptions and offerings compared to Sprint and Verizon. However remember that VZW is very proud of their network coverage and so I can see the logic behind their approach.
- Yes, itsis almost a non-announcement to some extent but the fact that they are sticking to femtos is significant enough for me. I see a lot more coming out from Verizon on femtosin2011 as they launch LTE and as carriers move theirfocusfrom coverage to capacity. Capacity will be the competitive playground from hereonwards and I see femtos/picos being essential to that.3G EVDO is still going to beimportant forthemand with Ipads being sold in Verizon stores (MiFi backhauled over EVDO)and the rumors about EVDO Iphones, I don't see why Verizon can't tweak or enhance their femto offering in the future to suit their needs.
So -yes they have probably disappointed in terms of their 3G femto offering for nowbut I would suggest watch this space!