LONDON – The Femto Forum, an industry body set up to adoption of small-scale cellular communications, has changed its name to the Small Cell Forum.
The organization said that this better represents the increasing variety of such systems that now embraces residential, enterprise, metro and rural small cells. It said it also wants to prevent the perception that the market is fragmented and that it would work to develop consensus on common approaches, standards and agreed best practice for all small cells.
The Forum will address all small cells that operate in licensed spectrum, are operator-managed and feature edge-based intelligence – including what have been dubbed femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells. It will also support the crossover between small cells and other relevant technologies including: Wi-Fi, cloud RAN, Distributed Antenna Systems, as well as macrocells as part of the new heterogeneous network (hetnet) environment.
"Femtocell technology was originally designed for the home but has since extended into enterprise picocells, urban metrocells and modern microcells for all manner of locations. The core technologies developed by members of the Femto Forum - including Systems on a Chip, provisioning systems, standardised gateways, and other related innovations - lower the cost of licensed band solutions and facilitate easy deployments for all small cell products," said Simon Saunders, chairman of the Small Cell Forum, in a statement.
The Small Cell Forum has 137 members including 63 operators who serve more than 1.71 billion mobile subscribers, about 33 percent of the global total – as well as telecoms hardware and software vendors, content providers and startups.
As soon as these devices are affordable and broadly available, they will take off. Phone companies should pay people to install them to fill in dead spaces in their networks. Everyone has a story about dead spots in their house or office. When will the technology be widely available? Already WiFi is widely available and therefore SmartPhones often connect to WiFi for data services. Phone service, however, remains problematic. This is especially an issue for the growing number of people who dropped their land lines for economic reasons.