Femtocells have grown up and left home, according to ip.access founder and CTO Nick Johnson, commenting on the news Wednesday that the Femto Forum had rebranded as the Small Cell Forum. Johnson was unveiling the firm’s first 4G small cell – an event that highlights the growing maturing of the sector – yet brings with it some interesting network planning considerations.
Operator group Telefónica will deploy femtocells in Germany to extend its network coverage in areas where buildings’ walls can degrade the quality of a mobile signal or in areas far from a macro cell tower.
It’s not the strongest that flourish, it’s the most adaptable. Well, sometimes it’s the strongest, of course; usually in fights – the playgrounds of the world are littered with weaklings spitting teeth and crying that at least they’re adaptable. Anyway, this kind of quotation is not to be taken literally. The point is that flexibility and willingness to move with your environment can be crucial to success. Just look at aspiring US songstress Lizzy Grant. She wasn’t getting anywhere four years ago so she morphed herself with remarkable success into Lana Del Rey and now everybody’s raving about her.
The Femto Forum has announced that is has changed its name to the Small Cell Forum, as it look to bring all outdoor small cell technologies under its umbrella. Small Cell Forum chair Simon Saunders told Telecoms.com that the new name would better reflect its work, which embraces residential, enterprise, metro and rural small cells in addition to indoor Femtocells and that the expanded outlook beyond residential devices had encouraged telecoms vendor Ericsson to join the board.
The Femto Forum has rebranded as the Small Cell Forum, signaling its coming of age and evolving from its established home environment to enterprise, public, metro and even rural locations. But are small cells going to be bigger than femtocells?
A growth in markets with multiple femtocell offerings is driving operators to offer the products for free, according to a new study from Informa Telecoms & Media. Femtocell services are currently available in 23 countries around the world, and 43 per cent of these countries have multiple operators offering the technology, the firm said. For the majority of these countries, at least one operator offers the devices free of charge.
Small cells promise to boost capacity and throughput in areas of high usage more cheaply than macro cell deployments, while allowing more efficient use of spectrum than macros, and providing improved coverage at the cell edge and indoors. Bringing the radio signal closer to the user should also help to improve device battery life.
In the run up to the Asia LTE conference in September, we speak to Dr Shahram G Niri, director of global LTE/SAE strategy & solution at NEC Europe and visiting professor at the University of Surrey.
With mobile data traffic expected to double annually, small cell base stations are set to play an important role in expanding the capacity of wireless networks. Mobile operators are realizing that to meet the demands for data, video and application access caused by smart phones and other devices, there is a real beauty to going small.
Informa Telecoms & Media today issued its latest femtocell market status report which revealed that there are now in excess of 2.3 million 3G femtocells globally compared to 1.6 million 3G macrocells, highlighting the growing popularity of the technology.
Ubiquisys, the femtocell vendor, has announced a partnership with chip manufacturer Intel to develop a new range of intelligent small cell base stations. The devices will feature Ubiquisys application software and will be powered by Intel architecture.
IP networking firm RadiSys has acquired traffic management specialist Continuous Computing, to better target opportunities in the rapidly growing 3G and 4G, femtocell and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) sectors.
With 18 operators now having deployed more than 1.7 million femtocells, the baby of the infrastructure sectors is finding its feet. And like all babies, it’s ready to grow, as it looks to move away from its original model of miniaturisation.
Andy Tiller, SVP product management and marketing at femtocell developer ip access, talks about the growing interest in the small cell market.
Femtocell deployments may have doubled to 19 since last year’s Mobile World Congress but the news that seems to be causing the most excitement among members of the Femto Forum is the growth in enterprise interest in the technology. “Last year, all commercial femtocell deployments were residential, now more than a third are enterprise-focused,” said Femto Forum Chairman Simon Saunders, adding that commitments to launch the technology have tripled to 34 in the past year.
London and Tokyo, January 18, 2011 – NEC Corporation (NEC) announced today that it will attend the Mobile World Congress 2011 at the Fira de Barcelona, Barcelona February 14 – 17, 2011. This year, NEC will showcase a range of innovative and revenue-generating solutions for mobile operators at Stand No 8A125, Hall 8 including quick-to-market cloud services and next-generation mobile broadband solutions: LTE, backhaul, femtocell and Operational Support Systems (OSS).
While acknowledging the need to relieve capacity bottlenecks by offloading data traffic from their networks, mobile operators are looking for ways to better manage the process in order to maintain customer contact and build value.
US silicon vendor Broadcom has revealed its second major acquisition of the month with the announcement that it has signed a deal to buy femtocell chip developer Percello Ltd for $86m. The deal comes two weeks after Broadcom acquired multimode 4G platform developer Beceem.
Femtocells now outnumber conventional outdoor cell sites in the US, marking a major milestone in the evolution of mobile networks. Conservative estimates suggest there are currently 350,000 femtocells and around 256,000 macrocells in the US. But by March 2011, there are expected to be at least twice as many femtocells as macrocells in the country.