NSN leaps on tiny femto-bandwagon

Nokia Siemens Networks has just become the first of the supervendors to launch a femtocell product, in the week of the dreaded Femto Forum. Astonishingly, the device will be known as “3G Femto Home Access” – it’s a femtocell that provides 3G access in your home.

As is usual with femtocells, it’s a box that connects to a cable or DSL internet link, coupled with some sort of interface back at headquarters to wire it into the operator’s core network. IMS core networks already have a standard interface for so-called GAN (Generic Access Networking), what used to be called UMA when it was still a buzzword.

Presumably, Nokia is catering to operators that haven’t embraced IMS – the product includes a “Femto Gateway”, a core-network element that connects to the switching system at one end and the femtocells at the other. Nokia promises that this gadget will work with all other femtocell CPEs, and says it will co-operate with other vendors to achieve interoperability.

Trials are expected to kick off in January, with commercial launch in Q308. Interestingly, the CPEs are expected to package other functions as well, such as WLAN, Ethernet routing, firewalls/NAT, and perhaps storage and media capabilities.

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