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Alcatel-Lucent, Sagem co-develop femtocell base stations

Posted: 10 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:femtocell base station? collaboration? 3G?

Alcatel-Lucent and Sagem Communications have partnered to develop a femtocell base station platform that enables mobile operators to provide consumers and enterprises with 3G UMTS/HSPA network coverage in their homes or business locations.

The Base Station Router (BSR) Femto can help mobile operators improve indoor coverage, reduce operating and capital expenditures by simplifying network architectures and easing installation, and noticeably improve subscribers' quality of experience for mobile broadband and voice services.

Based on Alcatel-Lucent's "flat IP" architecture, the UMTS/HSPA BSR Femto flattens the mobile network by integrating and collapsing the UMTS/HSPA radio access network elements, including the base station and radio network controller (RNC), into a single, small unit about the size of a TV STB. This approach enables operators to deploy and optimize smaller form-factor, stand-alone base stations without creating an overwhelming network management challenge and overtaxing existing radio network controllers.

Under the collaboration agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will provide its flat IP and UMTS/HSPA expertise, networking equipment and software and end-to-end integration and support for the development of the BSR Femto. Sagem Communications will lend its enhanced home networking capabilities and expertise in developing IP, VoIP and DSL solutions for the mass market.

The BSR Femto uses a DSL connection in a home or office building to backhaul voice and data traffic onto an operator's existing UMTS/HSPA network, enabling operators to offload traffic from the macro-network. It supports circuit-switched voice and data applications, packet-switched data applications, HSPA and IP-Multimedia Subsystem-based networks. It also works with all 3GPP-compliant UMTS/HSPA handsets.

"The UMTS/HSPA BSR Femto offers significant advantages over competing solutions due to the fact that it combines all radio access functions into a single, compact device, eliminating the need to deploy additional RNCs," said Alain Biston, president of Alcatel-Lucent's W-CDMA activities. "By taking advantage of Sagem Communications' expertise in the development of consumer electronics products to help package and manufacture the BSR Femto for mass market consumption, we will realize significant time to market and cost benefits."

"The Alcatel-Lucent flat-IP architecture and the BSR Femto are a win-win for mobile operators and their subscribers," said Patrick Sevian, CEO of Sagem Communications. "Our consumer electronics expertise and experience with home- networking applications, combined with Alcatel-Lucent's deep knowledge of mobile networking, is an ideal combination."

Through this collaboration the companies have already achieved the completion of voice and data calls, lab demonstrations with key customers and the establishment of a program of field trials (to be conducted in Q4). Two versions of the BSR Femto are planned for UMTS/HSPA networksa standalone 3G unit with Ethernet connectivity to a DSL modem and an integrated unit that supports UMTS/HSPA, DSL and WiFi. Alcatel-Lucent is also developing a CDMA/EV-DO based BSR Femto.

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