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September 19, 2008

ABI Research: Femtocells and Picocells will Constitute LTE Architecture

Femtocells (News - Alert) and picocells, the cellular mini base stations that offer improved wireless coverage indoors, may form an integrated part of the initial rollouts of long term evolution (LTE) networks, according to analysts at ABI Research (News - Alert).

Globally, many service providers and equipment makers are looking at utilizing the cellular mini base stations. For a telecom operator, femtocells and picocells are expected to boost their revenues by offering extensive coverage indoors. However, the deployment has yet to take off in a big way.
The research agency’s forecast is based on the fact that higher frequencies, which will be used by LTE (News - Alert), penetrate structures less effectively than low frequencies, and so femtocells and picocells offer an attractive way to compensate for lower indoor signal strength.
In Europe and other regions, LTE will operate in the 2.6 GHz band. It will be mainly found in 700 MHz range in the US, and TD-LTE will be likely be deployed in the 1880-1920 MHz and 2010-2025 MHz bands in China, so the demand for femtocells may be less in these areas.
These cellular mini-base stations, which offer improved wireless coverage indoors, have been generating considerable interest in mobile wireless markets, according to Nadine Manjaro, senior analyst, ABI Research.
“In most parts of the world, LTE will be deployed using higher frequency bands. Higher frequencies penetrate structures less effectively than low frequencies, so femtocells and picocells offer an attractive way to compensate for lower indoor signal strength and provide LTE’s touted bandwidth,” ABI Research said.
Some observers even suggest that all LTE deployments will initially use femtocells alone.
“Our forecasts show an upswing in femtocell and picocell penetration that coincides with the expected LTE deployment timeframe,” Manjaro added.
Support to LTE and femtocells from telecom vendors is growing. Telecom equipment manufacturers such as Alcatel-Lucent and Motorola (News - Alert) are supporting a new interface “Iu-h” in the LTE architecture incorporating femtocells and femto gateways. Other companies such as picoChip, mimoON and Agilent are also partnering on femtocell design and testing with LTE architecture.
INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO West 2008 — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year — concluded Thursday in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of attendees flocked to the event for three valuable days of exhibits, conferences and networking opportunities. Mark your calendar now for ITEXPO East 2009, February 2-4, 2009, in sunny Miami, Florida.
Read archived editions of Show Daily eNewsletters from ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2008 here. See you in February!

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart


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