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T-Mobile invests in femtocells

04 марта 2008

T-Mobile has made a strategic investment in U.K.-based femtocell equipment maker Ubiquisys and is quietly testing the technology somewhere in Europe.

Ubiquisys made the announcement on Monday, but was unable to provide details of the size of investment made by the T-Mobile Venture Fund.

The mobile operator follows in the footsteps of Google in taking a stake in the femtocell provider, and joins existing investors Accel Partners, Advent Venture Partners and Atlas Venture.
The femtocell specialist declined to comment on how the T-Mobile investment compares with that of Google, which took part in a £25 million investment round in Ubiquisys last July.

"We have been working with T-Mobile for some time," said Keith Day, vice president of marketing at Ubiquisys.

T-Mobile Venture Partners conducted due diligence on the business and "T-Mobile is actively trialling with us," he said.

Day was unable to give further details at present, other than to say, "it's a European trial."

Ubiquisys' femtocell gear is on trial with 10 mobile operators, although only two have been made public. In addition to T-Mobile, Ubiquisys is also involved in the
U.K. femtocell trial announced by O2 and NEC last month.

Since the femtocell hype of early 2007, the market has been quiet, with mobile operators playing their cards very close to their chests on possible deployments. But some operators have been more open about their plans in recent months, and commercial services now look to be on the horizon.

Day expects to see the first deployments "in a limited sense" in the second half of this year, with the earliest softlaunches "towards the end of this year and the early part of 2009."

Mobile operators have spent a lot of time evaluating femtocell technology in the past 12 months, Day said.

"Operators have been very cautious... [but now] they are moving on to more advanced stages," he added.

Источник: Total Telecom

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