Femto Forum attracts big guns

The Femto Forum, a new industry group formed in July that is pushing femtocell technology, announced a big jump in its membership. The group, which started out with just seven companies, now has 40 members. The group started with some rather small players: Airvana, ip.access, Netgear, PicoChip, RadioFrame, Tatara and Ubiquisys. And everyone was wondering if some bigger names would be attracted to the forum. Now new members include Alcatel-Lucent, NEC, Nokia Siemens Networks, Motorola, and ZTE. Operators have also joined the ranks: Bharti Airtel in India, Bouygues Telecom, Carphone Warehouse Networks, Orsacom Telecom and Telefonica 02.

Femtocells are being billed as the next big thing in fixed-mobile convergence, promising to solve many of the shortcomings faced so far by many existing WiFi/cellular FMC services, namely a lack of compelling handsets and perceived complexity of the solution. Femtocells are envisioned to enable mobile operators to offer micro base stations for use in subscribers' homes or officers to deliver voice and data at carrier-grade quality at cheaper costs for operators and customers.

The Forum is now working with carriers to ensure product interoperability and commercial readiness. The Forum has also developed four working groups: standardization, network issues such as interoperability regulation and marketing and promotion of business models.

To read more about the Femto Forum's progress:
- check out this article from telecoms.com

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