[opendtv] Femtocells pose threat to voice-over-Wi-Fi, cellular basestation deployment

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 16:59:27 -0400

This is interesting. The telcos want to stay in control of their cell
telephone systems, and have a credible way of doing so.

Use 3G cellular, and send phone calls using VoIP, but without having to
fuss with switching over to other wireless ISPs that may be or may not
be reachable in a given location. 3G should provide the headroom needed
to make VoIP calls feasible, which is not feasible over the much lower
speed 2G bit rates.

This avoids having to switch between telco and WiMAX networks, which is
messy at best, but perhaps most importantly, it puts the 3G networks to
good use. I guess people are not using 3G for the purposes initially
invisioned, i.e. to send videos around. So now the telcos can redesign
their cellular telephone systems around VoIP, without having to worry
about losing control to other ISPs.


Femtocells pose threat to voice-over-Wi-Fi, cellular basestation

Patrick Mannion
(03/28/2007 3:58 PM EDT)
URL: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=198700849

Orlando, FL - Tatara Systems and picoChip today announced a partnership
to collaborate on and jointly market all-IP solutions for the femtocell
market. The deal adds momentum to a growing femtocell market that could
seriously impact cellular-handset-based voice over Wi-Fi as well as
future cellular basestation deployment and revenue models.

The partnership announced by Tatara and picoChip will focus on
developing a SIP/IMS-enabled femtocell reference design to ease the
integration of femtocells into a mobile operator's network, thus
enabling the significant advantages of an all-IP approach. The
collaboration will include picoChip's portfolio of products, including
the PC8208 HSDPA Femtocell modem reference design, and the Tatara Mobile
Services Convergence Portfolioof products, addressing the critical areas
of voice and messaging convergence, security, and enhanced services.

A femtocell, also known as a 3G access point, is a low-cost, low-power
cellular base station that provides improved indoor coverage while
backhauling the cellular traffic over a broadband connection. Recent
advances in low cost silicon technology make femtocells the most viable
solution for convergence in service provider networks. Femtocells are
designed to work with existing mobile handsets and can support multiple
users in a home environment. According to ABI Research, there will be
102 million users of femtocell products on 32 million access points
worldwide by 2011. The majority of these deployments will be based on
the all-IP architecture.

The implications of femtocells are manifold, according to Rupert Baines,
vice president of marketing at picoChip Designs Ltd. (Bath, U.K.). For
example, they could obviate the need for voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi),
where cellular calls are handed off to a Wi-Fi network in the home or
office and then carried back to the mobile network over a broadband
connection, whether DSL or cable. The problem with VoWi-Fi, according to
Baines, is that performance has proven disappointing, the handsets are
expensive and need to be subsidized by the carrier and it's not
ubiquitous. Shadowing these technical challenges is the fact that
carriers lose out on revenue when calls are handed off from the cellular
network. Femtocells give operators a chance to maintain that revenue
with high-quality connections over licensed spectrum, versus noise- and
latency-prone unlicensed Wi-Fi connections.

From another perspective, Baines added that the ability of femtocells to
both improve network capacity and coverage can affect basestation
deployment models and the revenue that companies such as Ericsson,
Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia-Siemens can expect to achieve. Greater coverage
via femtocells means fewer basestations are required. In addition, he
said, many companies can start developing femtocells, with companies
such as 2Wire, a DSL gateway provider, already developing femtocells.
Other companies in the femtocell mix include RadioFrame, Ubiquisys,
ipAccess and Dekolink. Kineto Wireless, a Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)
advocate, has partnered with NEC on femtocells, as has Tatara. UMA, a
3GPP standard, promotes Wi-Fi/cellular convergence, though Kineto's
gateway solution is amenable to both UMA and the femtocell model using

All material on this site Copyright 2007 CMP Media LLC. All rights
You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: