picoChip releases LTE femtocell development kit

Furthering the notion that LTE femtocells may be more about coverage than enhancing data speed, picoChip introduced an LTE development kit for base stations the will cover small cell sizes.

The Femto Forum and other industry experts have pointed out that LTE is approaching the theoretical maximum information transfer rate (otherwise known as Shannon's Law) and further improvements will only be possible by rolling out smaller cells. The higher data speeds might not be achieved with LTE femtocells because the wired network inside the home that will backhaul the wireless traffic won't have enough throughput to handle the higher data speeds LTE provides.

"LTE network trials using traditional macro-base stations are already under way in the US, Japan and Europe," Aditya Kaul, senior analyst, mobile networks at ABI, was quoted in Cellular-News. "While LTE will most likely be deployed from the macro layer first, operators realize that simply providing LTE coverage will not be enough. They will need to soon complement the macro network with targeted metro, enterprise and residential femtocell deployments. We forecast that by 2014 shipments for LTE femtocells will reach 20 million annually, with most LTE femtocells supporting 3G in multimode."

picoChip's LTE development system, called the PC9608/9, consists of a software-defined LTE modem that can be optimized and customized via an API. The system supports both TDD and FDD versions of LTE, and a variety of 3GPP-defined frequencies and bandwidth specifications within the standard.

For more:
- see Cellular-News

Related articles:
LTE femtocells may be more about coverage than speed
Femtocell LTE business outlined, as Motorola rethinks strategy
Picocells and femtocells to be part of initial LTE architecture

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