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T-Mobile rolls out picocells

T-Mobile International said Wednesday it has begun deploying picocells through a partnership with equipment vendor ip.access.

The move explains T-Mobile UK’s recent interest in the 414-420MHz spectrum band.

Picocells and femtocells are used to supplement cellular networks by providing dedicated in building coverage and extended capacity. The platform uses existing IP connections to provide cost-effective backhaul to the core network or can be used to create private GSM/3G networks.

Klaus-Jurgen Krath, vice president of radio access network engineering at T-Mobile International, said picocell infrastructure is an intelligent solution for boosting indoor coverage to deliver improved performance.

Dean Bubley, founder of analyst and consultancy Disruptive Analysis, commented that when used as a 2G network fill in, the technology is now comparatively mature and uncontroversial.

But on the other hand, “the concept of shipping millions of femtocells to home users, magically brushing away RF management issues, expecting users to simply plug the box into the back of their existing broadband gateway/router, and happily using cellphones indoors on their own private 3G access point is, frankly, a long way off,” Bubley said on his blog.

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