3G picocell to be trialled by midyear

One of the leading developers of femtocell products, ip.access, is developing a new 3G picocell it claims will be ready for trials this summer, with commercial availability towards the end of this year.

According to Andy Tiller, marketing VP of ip.access, as femtocells are becoming better understood, the demand for picocells has also risen strongly. "Whilst picocells have existed for some time, what we are announcing is the next generation of picocells which will share many common attributes with today's femtocells, in particular the mechanism for network integration and conformance with industry standards."

Tiller confirmed there was increasing demand for 3G picocells, and claimed the company was working with a customer to have its products operating in a network trial by midyear. The device, at a prototype level today, is said to be capable of supporting up to eight simultaneous users over a range of up to 200 metres, and can be installed using 'Power over Ethernet' and an existing internet connection to backhaul the mobile network traffic.

ip.access has also announced that SFR in France plans to increase the number of ip.access 2G picocells to expand it Office Extend service for enterprise customers. More than 100 of the units will be installed starting next month.

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