Indications that European operators want to accelerate the deployment of 3G femtocells comes with the news that T-Mobile has joined with others to invest in an Israeli-based baseband developer. T-Mobile has joined with venture capital funds to invest US$12 million in Percello, a fabless start-up that claims its chip is the first dedicated to the 3G femtocell market.
Percello's CEO, Shlomo Gadot, was upbeat about its new PRC6000 chip. "It offers the highest level of integration, the most advanced features and the most efficient power consumption at the best price." He added that the SoC PRC6000 device supported all femtocell backhaul functions such as timing and security, was compliant with the 3GPP R7 baseline, and was capable of delivering downlink speeds of 21.6Mbps and 5.76Mbps in the uplink.
However, other developers might question some of these assertions--such as whether the design was complete, where it might be produced and when?
However T-Mobile seemed pleased with its investment: "The baseband chip that Percello is developing is the most critical component relating to quality and mass-market price points. Its team has a strong track record and we welcome their involvement in strengthening the growing femtocell ecosystem," said Klaus-Jurgen Krath, VP of radio network engineering and quality for T-Mobile International.
The new investors said that the funds would be used primarily to complete product development of the PRC6000 chip and to initiate sales and marketing activities. Earlier this week, Percello announced that it planned to use CEVA-Teaklite-III DSP core technology to help develop femtocell baseband chipsets.
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