LONDON Three leading players in the emerging femtocells business, chip designer picoChip, mobile packet core router provider Starent Networks Corp., and Continuous Computing, have collaborated on what they suggest is the first demonstration of the latest 3GPP Iuh standard.
The trio suggest such collaboration and proving interoperability is key to give confidence to network operators and thus to bringing the small home hubs to mass market.
The companies will showcase the live demonstration of the 3GPP Release 8 Iuh interface between the 3G Home Node-B (HNB) and 3G Home Node-B Gateway (HNB-GW) at next week’s Femtocells World Summit taking place in London.
The Iuh interoperability demonstration consists of Starent Networks' ST40 platform supporting 3G Home Node B Gateway; PicoChip's picoXcell femtocell silicon and PHY software for 3G Home Node B; and the Trillium femtocell software from Continuous Computing for 3G Home Node B.
The three companies have previously collaborated on developing and testing different elements of these for femtocells. And the deal between the trio is not exclusive, as other players in the sector are expected to collaborate to achieve broad interoperability through standards organizations and so called Plug Fests being organized by the Femto Forum.
"Interoperability and standards compliance are crucial to the success of femtocell technology, and are important aims for members of the Femto Forum," said Prof. Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum.
Starting early last year, the Femto Forum took on the task of honing multiple, proprietary implementations into a single recommendation, and the collaboration with key players made it possible to present a proposal to 3GPP in time for incorporation in its Release 8 specification which was finalized in March 2009.
Aditya Kaul, senior analyst, mobile networks at ABI Research, suggested interoperability at such an early stage in the standardization process is a significant achievement, "which indicates the level of commitment that the femtocell ecosystem has in working together."
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