back to article Femtocells in spotlight as new route to LTE

As expected, femtocells are one of the big themes of this year's Mobile World Congress. Operators like Vodafone UK, its joint venture SFR in France, Softbank in Japan and AT&T in the US are getting serious about their HSPA femto deployments in the home, and the industry is looking ahead to 'greater femtocells' - the ones that …


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But the dearth of definitions for the many buzzwords in the article was intimidating.


It still says nothing about how

LTE requires very stringent time sync. I somehow do not see a femtocell connected to broadband (even NGA) complying with the reqs unless there is _NO_ macronetwork on the same frequency which will limit severely any options for deployment.

3G including all HSPA+ stuff is a different matter. It is doable. It is however a very s***y architecture.



WCDMA femtos need pretty severe timing too. 250ppb or even 50ppb (stricter than the standard but some operators want it).

There are techniques to do it, and they apply to LTE too (even TD-LTE).

Don't know why you say it is s***y: I think rather elegant: push intelligence to the edge and all that, go with the flow of cdma to reduce interference & exploit frequency re-use.


Didn't read

TFA, but thanks for the tagline :)

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Now our customers can pay for our network infrastructure directly too!

Bet that looks good around bonus time.

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Will be interresting with meshed networks

Actually the only way this could work is by giving the network into the hands of the users. For example via meshed networks. Otherwise nobody would be stupid enough to pay twice for their connectivity.

Anyhow the hardware will be popular among people who want to spoof their own network.


Why do the users need to run the network?

Have a look at Vodafone's Sure Signal. Sure the user can turn it off/on or mess with it's internet bandwidth but apart from that it appears to be completely voda managed over it's VPN. (the user can limit the cell to only his own phones as well but this is a feature not a requirement)

NB Has anyone taken on of these apart or hacked it to see if you could set up your own home telco?


Hacked off

"Has anyone taken on of these apart or hacked it to see if you could set up your own home telco?"

I suspect that Vodafone have spent a lot of time on that one. Give them a call and see if they'll share the secrets.

Penguin, 'cos that's their OS according to their website/forum.


My question ...

"The demand for LTE femtocells is unquestionable."

I'm happy to prove him wrong.

- What's the difference between a Femto and normal BTS is LTE?

(Nothing, apart from output power)

- What's the cost advantage for backhaulling traffic from a Femto instead of a macro BTS?

(None, unless you get the dumb subscriber to pay for it)

- Why would I want to reduce my transmit power on a system that already has a shorter range due to higher frequency and higher data rates?

(I wouldn't, but what do I know)

- Why do I need an LTE femto (instead of a 3G Femto) in my house when my DSL is limited to 20 Mbps if I'm extremely lucky?

(I don't, because I don't want to change my 3G phone and dongle unless I can use it on the network OUTSIDE my house!!!)

"Femtocells represent the key to avoiding the difficulties surrounding the first 3G deployments where roll-outs cost too much, took too long and did not meet user expectations,"

- How exactly? You mean because the subscribers need to buy a Femto to get any coverage and will be limited to roaming within their four walls. Or the Operators have to send out 10 million Femtos for free instead of rolling out 5 - 10k macro BTS, and then we'll have brilliant indoor coverage (in 10 million locations) and no outdoor coverage. That makes a lot of sense then.

I really get fed up with these Femto guys trying to talk up the market. El Reg reports blatant propaganda from vested interest as news. The least you could do is balance off the article (unless you got paid more than 3 beers for the free advertising, of course).


I don't see it

I think Dino Saur made some good points.

Femtocells seem interesting to provide voice coverage for a residential location where existing cell coverage is poor.

And sure, they can do 3G as well, which could be handy.

But if an early adopter of the latest 4G technology is so concerned about getting better than 3Mbps speed via their mobile *in their own house*, doncha think if they already had high-performance broadband installed there that they'd already be accessing it over 802.11a/g/n anyway?

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