November 5, 2007
US kit vendor Motorola said Monday that it has completed testing of its 3G femtocell equipment and has begun trialling the device with an unidentified major European operator.
Femtocells, which are like mini mobile base stations deployed either in homes or on campus to improve coverage, or potentially, to use a fixed internet connection for the backhaul, have become a hot topic in the industry.
Last month, Chinese vendor ZTE claimed to have launched the world’s first WCDMA commercial femtocell, the ZXWR H8901.
Also last month, Ubiquisys said it had completed “intense trials” with eight tier one operators around the world meaning its femtocell offering is now ready for commercial use.
Rumour has it that Orange is one of the UK trialists and low-power-GSM-license holders O2, BT and Carphone Warehouse/ Opal Telecom have all reportedly looked at femtos as a possible option for residential services.
“In Europe, 30 to 40 per cent of the cellular traffic is generated from inside the home. Femtocells provide a more efficient way for operators to manage traffic generated indoors, compared to the outdoor macrocells of the public cellular infrastructure,” said Vincent Poulbere, principal analyst at Ovum. “In Western Europe, we forecast that 12 million femtocells will be deployed in 2010 rising to 17 million in 2011.”
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