Tatara, picoChip to Speed Deployment of All-IP Femtocell Solutions

Tatara Systems and picoChip announced a partnership to collaborate on and jointly market all-IP solutions for the femtocell market. The partnership will focus on developing a SIP/IMS-enabled femtocell reference design to ease the integration of femtocells into a mobile operator’s network thus enabling the significant advantages of an all-IP approach. The collaboration will include picoChip’s portfolio of products, including the PC8208 HSDPA Femtocell modem reference design; and the Tatara Mobile Services Convergence Portfolio(TM) of products, addressing the critical areas of voice and messaging convergence, security, and enhanced services.

A femtocell, also known as a 3G access point, is a low-cost, low-power cellular base station that provides improved indoor coverage while backhauling the cellular traffic over a broadband connection. Recent advances in low cost silicon technology make femtocells the most viable solution for convergence in service provider networks. Femtocells are designed to work with existing mobile handsets and can support multiple users in a home environment. Over the long-term, femtocells also present an opportunity to develop new mobile services for the home that take advantage of low-cost, high-speed internet access. According to ABI Research, there will be 102 million users of femtocell products on 32 million access points worldwide by 2011. The majority of these deployments will be based on the all-IP architecture.

While there are several legacy architectural approaches for deploying femtocell-based solutions, the all-IP architecture utilizes standard communication protocols (i.e., SIP) and interfaces directly with the IP-based core network. This allows service providers to immediately achieve the end-to-end cost and service advantages that only an all-IP approach can deliver rather than being constrained by the historical limitations of traditional radio access network based solutions. The all-IP approach provides all of the existing mobile services plus enhanced IP services, wireline service convergence, reduction in network cost, seamless evolution to IMS, and load reduction on the mobile core network.

“One of the key challenges in deploying femtocells is how the access point connects to the mobile operator’s core network. As operators move to an all-IP network, the Tatara architecture delivers an elegant way to achieve this connection in an efficient way. To help manufacturers develop femtocells that can be developed and deployed easily, the use of standard architectures and reference designs are essential,” commented Guillaume d’Eyssautier, CEO at picoChip.

The interface between the femtocell and the core network is key to widespread deployment of the all-IP solution. Tatara Systems and picoChip have agreed to work together to eliminate any barriers to entry for the all-IP solution, including standardization of the all-IP architecture, interoperability, and collaboration on a SIP/IMS reference design provided with picoChip’s industry-leading single-chip solutions.

“Mobile operators universally agree that an all-IP approach to network integration delivers the true value of femtocells,” stated Steve Nicolle, President and CEO of Tatara Systems. “We are pleased to be working with a market leader like picoChip to enable that to happen day one.”

About Tatara Systems
Tatara Systems invents, develops, and deploys convergence products for service providers allowing them to offer converged mobile services to their subscribers across the widest base of available end-user devices (i.e. PCs and current mobile phones). Tatara’s fixed-mobile convergence strategy is focused on femtocell convergence as a powerful FMC approach for mobile operators that takes advantage of current cellular handsets to provide improved coverage and IP-based voice and data services via an economical in-home cellular access point. Tatara’s products also enable the industry’s broadest set of PC convergence solutions, from a mobile broadband service to advanced services, like a PC mobile softphone or intelligent content delivery. Tatara is proud to count some of the industry’s largest operators as customers of its award-winning Tatara Mobile Services Convergence Portfolio(TM) of products.

About picoChip
picoChip provides software defined radio solutions to the key challenges of cost, development time and flexibility for the next generation of wireless systems. The company’s multi-core processors deliver a world-beating price/performance combination. Uniquely, the company also delivers complete, standard-compliant reference designs for UMTS (HSDPA, upgradeable to HSUPA) and WiMAX/WiBRO (both 802.16d and 802.16e, with support for AAS and MIMO). WiMAX systems using picoChip are available from Airspan, Intel, Ericsson, Nortel, Marconi and a number of other manufacturers. picoChip technology is also being used to develop other advanced wireless protocols such as UMTS-LTE, 802.20 and TD-SCDMA, and in 4G research.