New femtocell aims at the enterprise

As residential femtocells enter a deployment low-point, developers are ramping up the opportunities open to mobile operators for these low-powered base stations within the enterprise.

Making the case for these beefed up femtos is Airvana with its new HubBub High-Capacity 3G femtocell which aims to improve voice coverage and data capacity in the work place. The device, says the company, can support up to 16 simultaneous users making voice calls within a range of up to 600m, or up to 40 people at the same time using low-bandwidth applications such as push email.

"It's not a consumer femtocell on steroids. This is purpose built for the enterprise market," said Paul Callahan, Airvana's VP of business development. "We developed HubBub because of requests from mobile operators for just such a product. You'll find companies have employees on plans with different networks, and this is an opportunity for operators to convert the whole firm to one single plan."

Airvana said that, as well as supporting over three times the bandwidth of femtocells aimed at the consumer market with a maximum throughput of 21.6Mbps downstream and up to 5.7Mbps upstream, the HubBub also has the power to penetrate through multiple floors in an office block.

"We learned a lot from the consumer picocell market. I think future products will be available at a much lower cost and will be plug-and-play," Callahan said.

For more on this story:

Related stories:
'Superfemto' chip aims at 2km range
Picocells-the best solution for enterprise comms
European femtocell market set for growth
Femtocells: Vodafone sets the pace with European launch
European Femtocell Deployment Status