Femtocells key to LTE deployment, claims Telenor

This summer will see field trials of LTE take place in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, using equipment supplied by Huawei Technologies. The tests will involve the radio access and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) aspects of the technology, but Telenor has stressed it has also issued a separate RFQ for LTE infrastructure to cover all of the company's operations in the Nordic region.

However, according to a report in Unstrung, Telenor believes the use of femtocells will play a much more important role than had been expected.

"LTE can be used for solving problems with really red hot spots in cities, where 20 per cent of base stations are in complete overload, while other base stations use only 15 per cent to 20 per cent capacity," said Hans Erik Karsten, VP of network technologies at Telenor's research and innovation unit. But beyond hotspot coverage, Karsten noted that opinions vary about how many LTE base stations will be needed to provide continuous coverage in urban areas. "This forces us to think about femtocells. Femtocells will play an important role in the future, much more than we anticipated."

The deal is Huawei's second relating to LTE services in Norway this year. The vendor closed a deal with TeliaSonera in January to provide a commercial LTE network, also in Oslo, expected to launch in 2010.

For more on this story:
Telegeography and Unstrung

Related stories:
Picocells and femtocells to be part of initial LTE architecture
Ericsson: No plans for 3G femtocell
Femtocell LTE business outlined, as Motorola rethinks strategy
Femtocells: Orange, Starhub and Chunghwa make the pace

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