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API specs enable new femtocell apps

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:femtocells? Femto Forum? API specifications?

The development of femtocell-powered mobile applications has made significant progress, according to the Femto Forum. The group has released an industry-approved set of API specifications that will pave the way for new mobile applications powered by femtocell technology. To date, the Forum's vendor-members have already developed the first applications based on these specifications for their operator customers.

The API specifications are now available to the femtocell community and the Forum is determined to see other bodies implement the completed specifications into the dominant industry standard APIs.

Created for network-based APIs, the specifications will allow operators to drive the development of femtocell-powered open access, enterprise and consumer applications. The API provides femtocell awareness information so developers can incorporate enhanced presence, context and location-sensitive features into new and existing apps, and can also take advantage of the lower cost and faster data connections enabled by femtocells.

The Femto Forum has also worked with the Broadband Forum to update its TR-196 Femto Access Point Service Data Model, a global femtocell management standard, to enable support for femtocell applications. This will allow mobile operators to use their standard management systems to remotely provision and configure advanced femtocell applications on their customers' equipment as well as issue repairs and updates.

The fast and low-cost data connection provided by femtocells creates an environment for services such as fast podcast downloads or media streaming. Femtocells also act as a bridge between the mobile and home networks, giving the mobile handset secure access to all other 'connected' devices on the home LAN, enabling media sharing and the ability for the handset to be used as a remote control for other CE devices and home automation.

In addition to providing in-home access, the femtocell will also allow users to remotely connect to devices from outside their house via their cellphone.

The API specification document is available to full Femto Forum members and to API standards-making bodies. A separate public document summarizing the capabilities of the API is now available.

- Phil Ling
??EE Times

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