Feeds

Femtocell Forum grows big – rebrands as Small

That's just over a smidge larger

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The Femtocell Forum has changed its name to the Small Cell Forum, reflecting how the tech is migrating upwards, but also how femtos haven't yet set the world alight.

The organisation has been successful in uniting femtocell manufacturers, and around the world there are a scattering of deployments – most of which conform to the standards developed by the forum. But it's bigger cells which have made the greatest use of the technology designed to fit into the home, and that's what's prompted the change of title.

Femtocells are tiny mobile-phone base stations with a range of just a few metres. Designed to drop into the home, they connect back to the operator's network over the public internet, and fit themselves into the macro network by finding an available frequency in which to operate.

The idea was to create cells which could be plugged in and left to their own devices, so anyone can get one up and running, and largely it works. That makes the technology very attractive to network operators used to paying radio engineers to meticulously configure base stations, and has led to many of the capabilities being adopted into pico and micro cells, if not (yet) fully-fledged base stations.

The term small cells covers micro cells, picocells, femtocells and Wi-Fi.

It's not just the radio sensing which has proved popular, the ability to backhaul over contended connections is also becoming more important – and that's going to increase as more networks get deployed. All these intelligent base stations need standard interfaces to the network operator, which the Small Cell Forum is happy to provide, so doesn't want to be burdened with the "Femto" label.

Femtocells themselves have had limited success, and still suffer from problems in handing connections back and forth with the macro network (which is addressed in the LTE standard) and requiring gateways from the public internet to the operator's secure infrastructure (which LTE does not address).

But base stations are getting more intelligent, and the Small Cell Forum wants the world to know it's ready to standardise them, no doubt changing its name to the "Intelligent Cell Forum" in a few years when the capabilities arrive in the macro network. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.