MWC 09 – Design makes femtocells GSM compatible

Cambridge Consultants has developed a GSM/GPRS/EDGE/E-EDGE physical layer (PHY) reference design which it said is targeted at mass-market 2G and 2.75G femtocells.

The reference design, called Centaur, includes a complete framework model and code implemented on the picoArray from picoChip.

According to Cambridge Consultants, with the development of 3G and Wimax femtocells many femtocells do not offer GSM services.

While the benefits of advanced generation network standards like 3G and Wimax are well known, basestations that do not enable 2G GSM network access are creating a barrier to adoption by the vast majority of the existing user base of GSM, according to the design firm.

“While much of today’s attention is focused on broadband-capable cellular technologies, it is well recognised that GSM will still be in operation for many years, if not decades to come, delivering the services required by billions of subscribers,” said Tim Fowler, Commercial Director at Cambridge Consultants’ Wireless Division.

“Delivering the complete range of GSM radio capability that runs on the low-cost, high volume processors from picoChip means that extending these networks, both in terms of their coverage and their operational life, can be significantly more economic for the operators and subsequently the users,” said Fowler.

According to Rupert Baines, v-p marketing at picoChip: “The reference design dramatically extends that, enabling low-cost base-stations and femtocells for the high-volume GSM market, and providing exactly the flexibility and low-cost point our clients need in order to exploit the hardware platforms they’ve invested in.”

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