Vital femtocell standards agreed

As the interest in femtocell trials by mobile operators increases, the need for an agreed set of standards has become ever-more important. So, the announcement that members of the Femto Forum have reached an agreement on the way femtocells should interact with mobile core networks will be much welcomed.

With interoperability a key factor in their success, femtocells have been deployed in trial networks without an agreed standard. However, vendors are meeting this week to hammer out the finer details of the agreed interfaces, with plans to send submissions as early as next week to the 3GPP, where there are already three work items in progress related to femtocells. By agreeing on the interfaces, the Forum believes it has removed one of the barriers that have discouraged some operators from making the leap from trial to soft commercial launches.

"We've enabled operators to move forward faster on their deployments," said Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum. "For many operators, until they have a clear path toward standardisation, they won't take that first deployment step. So we've set out a roadmap, and now more operators are willing to take that step."

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