Thursday, 22 April 2010

When Femtocells become Picocells

Femtocells are not really becoming Picocells but when you read about the new features coming up in Femtocells, you can imagine why operators are embracing Femtocells.

A typical Picocell, offers limited coverage but the same capacity as a macro-cell and can cost between £5000 to £10000. A Femtocell overs very limited coverage and very few users but its dirt cheap.

What if a compromise Femtocell is made that can solve both the coverage/capacity and price then its a win win situation for everyone.

This is where "Metro Femtocells" come into picture. They can be called by different names but lets stick to Metro Femtos.

Ubiquisys's press release about the Colo-Node HSPA Femtocell shows us the direction in which the device manufacturers are moving. It allows 16 users (as opposed to 4) and the range of 2km (as opposed to couple 100 metres). Picochip has already released a chip that can serve 32 users at 2km range. These femto's are Release-7 compliant with 42Mbps peak dl and and 11Mbps peak ul.

The good thing is that they may be soon used to fill the coverage black holes but that can also mean that the operators may stop putting lot of effort in Network optimisations.

The ubiquisys Colo-Node HSPA will be available end of July this year.

Ubiquisys has also demonstrated a wide area femtocell with 12 sq. km range. I wonder where they will be used.


Andy said...

It's a common misconception that picocells have huge capacity, are very expensive, require dedicated backhaul etc. In fact, cell area, capacity and price fall in a logical progression from macro to micro to pico to femtocell. 3G picocells use the same network architecture as femtocells, including standard broadband Internet connections for backhaul. See here for details

Amitav said...

its nice to hear,but it is not metioned anything about the hand off possibilities in that particular femto cell????