Telefonica Spain launches rental femtocells

Recognising that its 3G in-building coverage can cause connection problems, Telefonica's Movistar has unveiled a femtocell product that is available to consumers and business subscribers for a monthly rental fee of €9.

The mobile operator said that the 3G femto would have a range of around 150 metres, although customers would also need to have a 3 Mbps ADSL internet subscription from Telefonica to provide adequate backhaul.

Movistar said that its 'Mi Cobertura Movil' (My Mobile Coverage) service enabled the customer to select which Movistar handsets were authorised to access the femtocell, with the femto being able to support up to four simultaneous connections.

Separately, the femtocell silicon developer, picoChip, has announced a reference design that it claims can operate as a metro femto but at significantly lower cost and complexity than current picocells.

The new PC333 chipset supports receive diversity, which is not always included in residential femtocells, and smart signalling designed to better handle the 'signalling storm' from always-on smartphones. The design, which claims to have a range of 2km, can support 64 users in active conversation or browsing, and 400 phones engaged in general network signalling or 'chatter'.

For more on this story:
- read Total Telecom & Rethink Wireless

Related stories:
Vodafone Spain targets enterprise users with femtocell launch
Femtocells will become a headache, says Ericsson exec
Femtocell BOM for under US$50, claims developer
Femtocells to make breakthrough in 2012, claim researchers

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