OK, I'll ask a predict-the-future question of the gurus on this NG:
What's likely to be the future of "femtocells" (aka residential "network extenders")? -- that is, gadgets which connect to a cellphone provider over the Internet and provide a good cellphone signal within the residence and portions of the yard? (I don't mean rooftop gadgets that pick up signals from a nearby towers and rebroadcast them inside a residence.)
That is, are major cellphone providers likely to continue making these network extender devices and service available, at reasonable cost, for the foreseeable future? Or are there commercial or political factors that might lead to them dropping this kind of connectivity in the future?
Reason for asking: I live in a "faculty ghetto" on a major university campus: 850 fairly upscale residences in a mile-square area, heavily wooded, fairly hilly. Cellphone coverage within much of this area, provided by cell towers in surrounding cities and suburban areas, ranges from poor to lousy. Proposed improvements in coverage using a half dozen low-power distributed antennas hidden inside 30' to 50' high poles about 12" in diameter, located within the area but generally shielded by surrounding trees, are rousing the usual fervid nimby response from a vocal minority.
All the residences in this area have or can get good Comcast Internet service; Google 1 Gig fiber is being installed right now. So, why not bypass this entire distributed antenna controversy, and tell everyone to just buy their own femtocell? (I've had a Verizon model for a year or more myself, and it's been excellent.)
I'm just attempting to check: are these femtocells likely to remain available indefinitely? Or are there good reasons they might go away? Thanks for any insights.