Femto Forum Focuses on Management with Second Plugfest


2nd February 2011

Femtocell vendor community comes together at ETSI to verify the Broadband Forum’s femtocell management standard and thereby facilitate widespread deployments

London, UK – The Femto Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports femtocell deployment worldwide, today announced it has successfully completed its second plugfest which focused on femtocell management. The series of plugfests aim to cultivate an effective ecosystem of standardised femtocells. This helps provide operators and consumers with a wider choice of femtocell products while also facilitating economies of scale which help bring down the cost of equipment. The plugfest had widespread vendor support with 13 companies participating, including vendors of network equipment and femtocell access points as well as component providers.

The plugfest was organized in cooperation with ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute) and overseen by testing and compliance consultancy TRaC Global. The primary objective of the plugfest, organized as an ETSI Plugtests™ interoperability testing event, was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Broadband Forum’s femtocell management standard in supporting interoperability between femtocell access points and network equipment from different vendors.
   
Karim Sharf, Chair of the Femto Forum’s IOT SIG and CTO - Telecoms at TRaC, commented: “The plugfest series is helping to drive forward femtocells as an open and interoperable technology – a critical element in its successful uptake.The interest and participation at this second plugfest was much greater than we anticipated and led to the event being extended by two days. This high level of attendance secured at both plugfests is very encouraging as we start to plan the next event in the series.”

The Broadband Forum’s femtocell management standard (TR-196) was published in April 2009 and is an extension of the TR-069 standard that is widely used in fixed broadband networks and set-top boxes. The femtocell standard allows mobile operators to simplify deployment and enable automated remote provisioning and configuration, radio environment monitoring, diagnostics-checking and software updates.

The companies involved were Ablaze Wireless, Acme Packet, Alcatel-Lucent Telecom, Alpha Networks, Argela, Askey Computer Corporation, Huawei, Institute for Information Industry, NEC Corporation, Node-H, Nokia Siemens Networks, PicoChip and Ubiquisys.

Interoperability tests were conducted between femtocell access points, management systems, security gateways and femtocell network gateways to verify the Broadband Forum’s TR-196 femtocell management standard. The plugfest also tested the IPsec/IKEv2 security protocols which allow femtocells to communicate over the public Internet to operators’ core networks in a highly secure manner.

About The Femto Forum
Femtocells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum to connect standard mobile devices to a mobile operator’s network using residential DSL or cable broadband connections. The Femto Forum (www.femtoforum.org) has been set up to promote the wide-scale adoption of femtocells. It has 137 members including 63 operators representing more than 1.71 billion mobile subscribers – 33% of the global total. Comprised of mobile operators, telecoms hardware and software vendors, content providers and innovative start-ups, its mission is to advance the development and adoption of  small cells via femtocells and broader applications of femto technology for the provision of high-quality 2G/3G/4G coverage and services within the residential, enterprise and public access markets.