femtocell technology

Femtocell is a small, low-power cellular base station, typically designed for use in a home or small business. A broader term which is more widespread in the industry is small cell, with femtocell as a subset. It connects to the service provider’s network via broadband (such as DSL or cable); current designs typically support two to four active mobile phones in a residential setting, and eight to 16 active mobile phones in enterprise settings. A femtocell allows service providers to extend service coverage indoors or at the cell edge, especially where access would otherwise be limited or unavailable. Although much attention is focused on WCDMA, the concept is applicable to all standards, including GSM, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA, WiMAX and LTE solutions.For a mobile operator, the attractions of a femtocell are improvements to both coverage and capacity, especially indoors. Consumers benefit from improved coverage and potentially better voice quality and battery life. Depending on the carrier they may also be offered more attractive tariffs, e.g., discounted calls from home.Femtocells are an alternative way to deliver the benefits of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). The distinction is that most FMC architectures require a new (dual-mode) handset which works with existing unlicensed spectrum home/enterprise wireless access points, while a femtocell-based deployment will work with existing handsets but requires installation of a new access point that uses licensed spectrum. Many operators have launched femtocell service, including Vodafone, SFR, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Verizon and Mobile TeleSystems.

Benefits:

 “5 bar” coverage when there is no existing signal or poor coverage
Higher mobile data capacity, which is important if the end-user makes use of mobile data on his mobile phone (may not be relevant to a large number of subscribers who instead use WiFi where femtocell is located)
Depending on the pricing policy of the MNO, special tariffs at home can be applied for calls placed under femtocell coverage
For enterprise users, having femtos instead of DECT phones enables them to have a single phone, so a single contact list, etc.

Femto cell system basics: 

Femtocells are essentially a form of cellular access point. The femtocells provide connectivity between the local mobile phones and an internet router. However this is only part of the overall femto cell system required. Several items are needed:
Femtocell itself
Internet router to enable the data to be passed to and from the femto cell via the Internet
Internet link
Mobile telecommunications service provider core network gateway
The two key elements of the system are the femtocell which is installed within the user premises and also the network gateway that provides the link from the Internet into the telecommunications network.    Click here to Continue Femtocell Pros & Cons

Also see

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