Ubiquisys and NSN market femtocell solution
Integrate small base stations with NSN gateways using 3GPP standards
Published: 10 November, 2010
As it becomes received wisdom that 4G networks will be built using ever-smaller cells, carriers and their suppliers are intensifying their interest in the smallest base stations of all, femtocells. Nokia Siemens has relied on various partnerships for its femto strategy, and has announced an expanded deal with UK specialist Ubiquisys. The two firms will sell a combined package from the beginning of next year.
The integrated combination of femtocells and network equipment will interwork using standard 3GPP interfaces and the vendors say it is already being tested by several operators.
The emergence of such standards, replacing previous proprietary interfaces, has been vital to boost carrier confidence. But other factors are also proving important in making femtocells a mainstream part of many cellcos' 3G and LTE plans for 2011 onwards. As Ubiquisys marketing VP Keith Day explains, these include lower price points and the data overload on carriers' macro networks, some of which can be offloaded to femtos.
Today, about 20 operators are either testing or using Ubiquisys' femtocells, according to Day. Its platform boasts the industry's only continuously adaptive radio resource management system to guard against interference, low energy consumption and self-organizing network features such as load balancing and automatic handover.
NSN provides the Femto Gateway, which integrates femtocells into the core network over a standard Iuh interface over IP or ATM.
"Based on a relationship that dates from 2008, both companies have worked intensively to create this formidable solution. It is a big step forward in our way towards building a mature femtocell mass market" said Timo Hyppölä, head of 3G Femto product management at NSN.