Femtocell vendor community comes together at ETSI to verify the 3GPP femtocell standard and help drive widespread deployments
London, UK – The Femto Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports femtocell deployment worldwide, today announced it has completed the world’s first femtocell plugfest. The plugfest process, which extended over many months and culminated in the test event itself, was organized in cooperation with ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute) and had widespread vendor support with over twenty companies participating, including vendors of network equipment and femtocells as well as software and hardware components.
The companies involved were Ablaze Wireless, Acme Packet, Airvana, Alcatel-Lucent Telecom, Alpha Networks, Askey Computer Corporation, C&S Microwave, Cisco Systems Inc, Contela, Continuous Computing, Genband, Huawei, IntelliNet Technologies, ip.access, Kineto Wireless, NEC, Node-H, Nokia Siemens Networks, picoChip, Technicolor, TRaC Global and Ubiquisys.
The primary objective of the plugfest, organized as an ETSI Plugtests™ interoperability testing event, was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the 3GPP femtocell standards in supporting interoperability between femtocell access points and network equipment from different vendors. This helps ensure that there is consistent interpretation of the standard.
Standardized femtocells provide operators and consumers with a richer ecosystem of femtocell products, as well as facilitating economies of scale.
“The history of cellular is littered with companies that had extremely promising proprietary technologies but failed to achieve widespread adoption. Put simply, the mobile operator community does not embrace non-standardized technologies. The development of the 3GPP femtocell standard was momentous, but verification of the standard is required to enable mass market deployment. Through the plugfest we are now a vital step closer to that target,” said Simon Saunders, Chairman of the Femto Forum.
“The fact that the plugfest was carried out so quickly after the completion of the 3GPP standard is testament to the industry’s support for standardized femtocell access points and network equipment. This process will ultimately allow operators to multisource the technology as they do with mobile handsets today,” said Natasha Tamaskar, Chair of the Femto Forum’s IOT Initiative. ”This plugfest represents a crucial step towards the Femto Forum’s vision of a fully open interoperable femtocell ecosystem.”
Adrian Scrase, Head of ETSI’s Mobile Competence Centre, remarked, “I’m delighted that the Femto Forum partnered with ETSI for this significant event. The availability of the 3GPP Home NodeB (femtocell) specifications has encouraged the development of products that this interoperability event has been able to test. The results will not only provide confidence to the participating companies, they bring vital feedback to the standardization process. The event is therefore a critical part of the route to mass-market success for standardized femtocell solutions for 3GPP-based mobile networks.”
Interoperability tests were conducted between femtocell network gateways, security gateways, femtocell access points and chipsets to verify 3GPP’s Iuh interface as defined in the Release 8 series of specifications. 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. 3GPP’s Release 8 femtocell standard was published in April 2009, and defines the secure interface between femtocell access points and femtocell gateways in the core network.
TRaC Global, which specializes in testing, regulatory and compliance services, coordinated the plugfest for the Femto Forum.
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 over 120 members including over 55 operators representing 1,4 billion mobile subscribers – 27% of the global total. The Forum supports and drives the adoption of industry wide standards and common architectures to enable the widespread adoption & deployment of femtocells by operators around the world. It also directs and implements a multi-faceted marketing campaign to raise the profile, drives technology development & deployment and promotes the potential of femto solutions among industry stakeholders, journalists, analysts, regulators, special interest groups, standards bodies and consumers.
ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Union as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit association whose 717 member companies and organizations, drawn from 62 countries across 5 continents worldwide, participate directly in its work. ETSI is a founding partner of 3GPP™.
For more information please visit: www.etsi.org and www.3gpp.org
About ETSI Plugtests™
As a complement to its core standards-making task, ETSI specializes in running interoperability test events for a wide range of telecommunication, Internet, broadcasting and multimedia converging standards. Plugtests™ events are open to all companies, organizations, working and study groups implementing a standard.
For information about ETSI Plugtests™ and upcoming events, please visit: http://www.etsi.org/plugtests
or contact Anthony Wiles, Director of ETSI’s Centre for Testing & Interoperability ([email protected]+33 4 92 94 43 87)
Plugtests™ and the ETSI logo are trademarks of ETSI registered for the benefit of its Members.
3GPP™ is a trademark registered by ETSI on behalf of the 3GPP Organizational Partners.