Small cell LTE deployment grows strongly – Femto Forum

The Femto Forum, the independent industry group supporting femtocell deployment, claims there has been a strong uptake of its small cell LTE application platform interfaces (APIs).

According to the group, 17 manufacturers have so far adopted the APIs for their upcoming LTE products including Airvana, AirWalk Communications, Broadcom, Cisco, Freescale, ip.access, mimoOn , Mindspeed, Picochip, Radisys, Tata Elxsi, Texas Instruments and Ubiquisys.

SK Telecom has also implemented the APIs in its LTE femtocell deployment. The LTE APIs enable interoperability between LTE femtocell semiconductors and protocol software from different vendors.

This rapid adoption is being driven by widespread LTE small cell commitments from operators around the world including China Mobile, Vodafone, SK Telecom and NTT DoCoMo.

“This positive uptake of the Forum’s LTE API is one more sign of the growing importance of small cells,” said Alan Law, chairman of the Femto Forum’s LTE SIG.

According to a survey from Informa Telecoms & Media, 60% of operators believe small cells are more important than macrocells in LTE deployments.

“As operators plan LTE networks, small cells, including femtocells, could play a critical role in enabling the fastest possible data services in metropolitan and rural public spaces, as well as in private homes and offices,” said Law.

The APIs address three fundamental functions: Physical Layer control (to generate LTE radio signals), scheduling (to accurately assign packets to frequency and time slots) and network monitoring (to minimise interference with the macro network and optimize femtocell coverage).

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