From the CEO’s Desk | Telecom Italia Jumping Off the Femtocell Bandwagon


Telecom Italia (TIM) has made an interesting announcement. It has decided to give up on its “Femtocell” strategy.

To appreciate the gravity of this decision, it’s important to understand the many obstacles that a carrier must overcome or address when rolling out a Femtocell strategy. These include technical issues and limitations ranging from integration with the existing mobile infrastructure to resource requirements for network upgrades and tools to manage/resolve interference. Other considerations include establishing a pricing policy that won’t trigger adoption resistance and, equally important, delivering a compelling customer experience out of the gate.

Abandoning a strategy when customers are already in the mix – regardless of how modestly or universally it may be deployed – is not an easy decision for any company. Knowing the significant investments in time, budget and resources required to deploy a Femtocell strategy, this must have been a particularly painful decision for Telecom Italia to make.

Telecom Italia is putting plans in place to offer an alternative, and quite possibly even better, solution. There are multiple technologies that aim to ease or resolve the indoor coverage issues that impact over one billion subscribers globally. Many of these technologies interoperate with one another, and provide carriers like Telecom Italia with the flexibility to choose and deploy the best solution to address their needs.

We don’t know exactly what technology Telecom Italia will use to supplant their Femtocell program, but whatever it is we have no doubt that once bitten, twice shy! They will undoubtedly choose a smart technology that won’t subject them or their customers to the extensive considerations they had to take into account, with their Femtocell program.

My question to you is: Have you ever been forced to backpedal on a strategic initiative post launch, and how did you manage the conflict between satisfying existing users or customers versus the greater future good?

By Werner Sievers, CEO

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