Femto Forum Forms to Promote Femtocell Standardization, Deployment

The Femto Forum launched to support and promote femtocell deployment worldwide. The Femto Forum is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation with founding members including Airvana, ip.access, NETGEAR, picoChip, RadioFrame, Tatara and Ubiquisys. Additional members will be made public in the coming months.

The Femto Forum will promote uptake of femtocell technologies through open standards, market education and ecosystem development. Initial working groups will concentrate on pre-competitive standards-focused issues including radio planning & control, device provisioning & management and device to network standardisation. A marketing task force will help promote femto solutions across the industry and will articulate positive, compelling benefits to end users. These include the enhanced coverage, quality-of-service, attractive tariffs and enhanced services which only femtocells operating in licensed spectrum can deliver.

The Femto Forum will be chaired by Professor Simon Saunders, who has more than 20 years wireless industry experience and has consulted to for a range of companies including O2, NTL and BT. He was also recently appointed to Ofcom’s Spectrum Advisory Board.

“The most successful mobile technologies have always been founded on vigorous open standards, interoperability and a keen understanding of consumer demand,” said Simon Saunders, Chair of The Femto Forum. “The Forum is committed to securing these conditions and working with all major stakeholders to ensure successful and timely femtocell deployment worldwide. We are delighted to have helped bring together key industry players with the common goal of driving standardisation and interoperability. These players have the vision to recognise the need to collaborate to create robust technology platforms while competing to create dynamic markets.”

A recent study from ABI Research forecasts that by 2011 there will be 102 million users of femtocell products on 32 million access points worldwide.

“All of the major mobile operator groups are currently undergoing trials and evaluations of femtocell products to add capacity and coverage to their networks,” said Stuart Carlaw, ABI Research. “However the introduction of open standards will be critical in enabling an economy of scale that will better enable the OEM and semiconductor communities to meet very aggressive price points and stimulate the market. The Femto Forum provides the ideal vehicle for driving this process.”

The Forum’s first Plenary will be held at the Home Access Point & In-building Conference in London 3-5 July 2007.

About The Femto Forum
Femtocells are cellular access points that connect to a mobile operator’s network using residential DSL or cable broadband connections. The Femto Forum has been set up to promote the wide-scale adoption of femtocells. The Forum will support and drive the adoption of industry wide standards and common architectures to enable the widespread adoption & deployment of femtocells by operators around the world. It will direct and implement a multi-faceted marketing campaign to raise the profile, drive technology development & deployment and to promote the potential of femto solutions among industry stakeholders, journalists, analysts, regulators, special interest groups, standards bodies and consumers.