DoCoMo takes wraps off dual-mode W-CDMA/LTE femto

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NTT DoCoMo is launching what it says is the world's first dual-mode femtocell supporting W-CDMA and LTE simultaneously. The device, being introduced next month, will be available for use inside offices, shops and homes.

DoCoMo dual-mode femtocell

DoCoMo's dual-mode femtocell supports W-CDMA and LTE.

The operator has marketed 3G femtos since 2007. Adding LTE to a small cell will enable DoCoMo to enhance indoor coverage for voice and data mobile communication via its Xi (read "Crossy") LTE service as well as its older FOMA 3G service.

DoCoMo, which has more than 60 million mobile customers in Japan, said the dual-mode small cell will support LTE service with speeds of 112.5 Mbps downlink and 37.5 Mbps uplink. However, the device will offer lower downlink speed in 3G mode than the current single-mode 3G femto. The new dual-mode device will feature HSDPA a maximum downlink speed of 14 Mbps but an uplink speed of only 384 kbps. The current FOMA 3G femto delivers 14 Mbps on the downlink using HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps on the uplink via HSUPA.

The dual-mode plug-and-play femtocell, developed by the Japanese operator itself, weighs 0.7 kilograms and measures 18.5 x 17.5 x 4.5 centimeters. Coverage extends to "several tens of meters," DoCoMo said.

Small cells for indoor coverage will increasingly integrate LTE capability as that technology becomes more widely deployed. Late last month, SpiderCloud Wireless said it would add LTE capability to its small cell enterprise radio access network (E-RAN) systems starting in the second quarter of 2013.

For more:
- see this DoCoMo release

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