3GPP agrees on femtocell architecture

The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has adopted an official architecture for 3G femtocell home base stations.

The 3GPP wants to have the new standard done by the end of this year, which appears to be an aggressive time schedule given the fact that vendors had various approaches to building a femtocell base station. The agreed upon architecture follows an access network-based approach, leveraging existing standards, called IU-cs and Iu-ps interfaces, into the core service network. The result is a new interface called Iu-h.

The architecture defines two new network elements, the femtocell and the femtocell gateway. Between these elements is the new Iu-h interface. This solution was backed by Alcatel-Lucent, Kineto Wireless, Motorola and NEC.

All of the femtocell vendors must go back and change their access point and network gateway equipment to comply with the new standard interface.

All femtocell vendors will have to make changes to their access points. Alcatel-Lucent, Motorola, NEC, and those that already use Kineto's GAN approach, such as Ubiquisys, will have the least work to do. 

To read more:
- check out Unstrung

Related stories:
Femtocell announcements bring market momentum; questions still remain. Femtocell editorial
Femtocells face their tipping point. Femtocell story

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