WiMAX Forum publishes femtocell standard

New standard will allow vendors to start creating compatible equipment for certification in early 2011

WiMAX Forum Global Congress, Amsterdam
– The WiMAX Forum and the Femto Forum today announced the publication of the first WiMAX™ femtocell standard allowing vendors to start developing standardized femtocells and associated network equipment based on the IEEE 802.16e radio interface and profiles. The WiMAX Forum aims to start certifying compatible products in early 2011 to guarantee efficient and effective interoperability between different vendors’ access points and core network equipment.

WiMAX femtocells cost-effectively enhance coverage and capacity inside buildings and in small outdoor areas as well as supporting advanced new services. The WiMAX Forum has been working with the Femto Forum since June 2009 to ensure that the entire femtocell and WiMAX ecosystems cooperate to enable the most effective possible standard and release the full potential of both technologies.

The specifications incorporate a security framework that allows WiMAX networks to support a large number of access points via standard commercial IPSec based security gateways. This phase of specifications also contains simple Self Organizing Network (SON) capabilities to allow automatic configuration of large numbers of femtocells. Future revisions will further enhance the SON capabilities to standardize automatic interference management between femtocells and macro base stations.

The standard also incorporates support for three usage models to support different deployment scenarios such as residential, enterprise and outdoor environments. The ‘Open Model’ allows the femtocell to operate like a normal WiMAX base station by allowing anyone to use the service; ‘Closed Subscriber Group (CSG) Closed’ allows a limited number of pre-allocated subscribers to use the femtocell. The ‘Closed Subscriber Group (CSG) Open’ extends the previous model to allow the subscriber to add users themselves. 

“Standards are central to the success of new mobile technologies so this represents a major milestone for WiMAX femtocells. Femtocells add a powerful tool to the WiMAX arsenal by allowing operators to cost-effectively improve coverage indoors and in rural areas while also adding capacity in urban locations,” said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. “This standard represents the culmination of a major WiMAX Forum effort and we look forward to moving on to the next phase in early 2011 when certification of compatible equipment can begin.”

“Femtocells deliver the best possible WiMAX experience – they provide exceptional indoor coverage and the optimum data experience. This standard is the key to enabling cost effective large scale deployments of WiMAX femtocells,” said Simon Saunders, Chairman of the Femto Forum. “We look forward to continuing our work with the WiMAX Forum in the future to ensure that both the technologies can evolve together.”

The standard will impact all elements of the WiMAX femtocell network including: the MS (Mobile Station), WFAP (WiMAX Femtocell Access Point), Security Gateway, Femto Gateway, SON Server, AAA Server, WFAP Management Server and other Core Service Network (CSN) functions.

About the WiMAX Forum®

The WiMAX Forum® is an industry-led, not-for-profit organization formed to certify and promote the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products based upon the harmonized IEEE 802.16e/ETSI HiperMAN standard. A WiMAX Forum goal is to accelerate the introduction of these systems into the marketplace. WiMAX Forum Certified products are interoperable and support broadband fixed, nomadic, portable and mobile services. Along these lines, the WiMAX Forum works closely with service providers and regulators to ensure that WiMAX Forum Certified systems meet customer and government requirements. Through the WiMAX Forum Congress Events Series of global trade shows and events, the WiMAX Forum is committed to furthering education, training and collaboration to expand the reach of the WiMAX ecosystem. For more information, visit the trade show link at www.wimaxforum.org.
 
“WiMAX Forum,” the WiMAX Forum logo and the WiMAX Forum Certified logo are registered trademarks of the WiMAX Forum. “WiMAX,” “Mobile WiMAX,” “Fixed WiMAX,” “WiMAX Certified,” and “WiMAX Forum Certified” are trademarks of the WiMAX Forum. Third-party trademarks contained in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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.

For More Information Contact:

Mari Hancock
GolinHarris for the WiMAX Forum
+1-713-513-9574
mhancock@golinharris.com

Oliver Chapman
The Femto Forum
oliver@femtoforum.org
+ 44 (0) 7713 404 571