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New femtocell standard to drive mass-market rollouts

08 апреля 2009

The telecoms industry took what it claims is a key step towards the commercial rollout of femtocell technology on Tuesday with the publication of the first femtocell standard.

Working with the Femto Forum and the Broadband Forum, standards body the 3GPP has officially published the new femtocell standard, which forms part of the 3GPP's Release 8 set of specifications and has adopted the Broadband Forum's TR-069 management protocol.

"Operators can now deploy femtocells in the knowledge that their vendors are working to the 3GPP standard," said Adrian Scrase, 3GPP project coordination group secretary, in a statement.

"Our operator members have been insistent that the dozens of approaches to integrating femtocells with mobile operators' core networks had to be filtered down to a single standard," added Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum.

"This new standard is crucial in turning the many femtocell operator trial around the world into mass-market commercial deployments," Saunders said.

There has been considerable speculation over whether mobile operators will seek to go large-scale with femtocell technology. Many believe that femtocells will successfully fill a niche in the market, but that the business case does not stand up to a mass-market rollout.

With a standard now in place, removing one major hurdle to commercial rollout, the situation should start to become clearer.

The femtocell standard covers four main areas, two of which – network architecture, and radio & interference aspects – were completed late last year. Management/provisioning, and security were finalised this month.

Femtocell specialists ip.access and Ubiquisys on Tuesday announced their support for the new standard. There has been little noise from the operator community though.

Источник: Total Telecom

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