I'm just flicking through DoCoMo's latest investor presentation.
One thing I've noticed once again is how the Japanese operator reports the number of indoor FOMA 3G systems deployed. I think this is highly admirable, and points to the fact that the company views in-building coverage as "strategic" and not just something to be done on an ad-hoc basis for customers or particular locations in "special circumstances".
European and US investors should hold this up as an example of a much more useful & meaningful KPI & encourage other operators to follow suit. At present, they (and regulators) seem happy with the totally-pointless "% of population covered". As a stat, that's useless - as I've commented before, 99.9% of the population lives indoors (and uses 3G there), not outside.
To some extent, the exact nature of the indoor coverage is immaterial - picocells, distributed antennas, and so on - that's an engineering consideration based on capacity & usage projections. What matters is that 3G works where it's needed.
(On that subject.... I had problems with O2's 3G network in my part of London a week ago. Signal dropped, it didn't register my 3G SIM or hand over to 2G for some reason. So I switched my phone to 2G-only mode to see if that would work. Only remembered 4 days later, because I was surprised the battery life seemed to have doubled. I don't use videotelephony, and I have another device for email/web... so I've left it on 2G permanently now).