Femtocells: picoChip and Ericsson pursue 3G home market

The femtocell chipset develop picoChip has announced a partnership with Ikanos Communications--a broadband semiconductor and software developer--to push forward the integration of 3G technology into home networks.

The two firms believe their combined technologies will enable vendors to develop multiservice gateways that support the integration of smart mobile devices into networks within the home. The aim, said the companies, was to provide consumers with better 3G cellular coverage and enable the delivery of content, such as video, to wireless handsets.

picoChip and Ikanos say that Sagemcom, formerly part of Sagem, will use their chipsets and software for a single box femtocell/xDSL solution (the [email protected] 4704 gateway) that they will then market worldwide.

Eric Rieul, Sagemcom's director of energy and telecom business unit, said, "Ikanos and picoChip are enabling us to quickly bring to market the next-generation of advanced femtocell gateways, which are capable of meeting our service providers' requirements, while increasing access to broadband mobile services and reducing the proliferation of multiple boxes in the home."

Following a similar path, Ericsson's mobile broadband modules division has announced a deal with Netgear that will see the consumer wireless router firm make available a new 3G router which incorporates HSPA, 802.11n and 10/100 Ethernet in one box.

According to Mats Norin, VP of Ericsson's modules unit, embedding HSPA in routers would open up new applications in the home and small office, as well as semi-nomadic user scenarios. "The new Netgear MBRN3300 device is particularly targeted at operators in areas lacking wired infrastructure, as an alternative to DSL, cable or fibre, as well as internet access from vehicles and caravans."

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