Wednesday, April 21, 2010

3GPP Picks Femtocell Standards

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards body has finally adopted an official architecture and started work on a new standard for home base stations. The specification for the interface between the Home Node B (HNB, the 3GPP term for femtocell) is being decided. The new interface will be called Iu-h and is a blend of existing standards Iu and generic access network (GAN), sometimes referred to as unlicensed mobile access (UMA). The 3GPP chose the solution backed by industry majors Alcatel-Lucent , Kineto Wireless Inc. , and its partners Motorola and NEC Corp. The new standard, which forms part of 3GPP’s Release 8, and interdependent with Broadband Forum extensions to its Technical Report-069 (TR-069), has been completed in just 12 months following close cooperation between 3GPP, the Femto Forum and the Broadband Forum.

The term has already been introduced to in one of the earlier posts. Femtocells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum to connect standard mobile devices to a mobile operator’s network using residential DSL or cable broadband connections.A Home Node B (HNB), is the 3GPP's term for a 3G femtocell. A Node B is an element of a 3G macro Radio Access Network (RAN). A femtocell performs many of the function of a Node B, but is optimized for deployment in the home.

The new standard
The new standard covers the following main areas:
  • Network architecture
  • Radio & interference aspects
  • Femtocell management / provisioning and security
In the proposed network architecture, the interface between femtocells and gateways in the network core re-uses existing 3GPP UMTS protocols and extends them to support the needs of high-volume femtocell deployments. The new standard has adopted the Broadband Forum’s TR-069 management protocol which has been extended to incorporate a new data model for femtocells developed collaboratively by Femto-Forum and Broadband Forum members and published by the Broadband Forum as Technical Report 196 (TR-196).


Kit Kilgour, Head of Standards, ip.access Ltd said...

This article is now over a year out of date - we completed Release 8 of Iu-h in Feb/March 2009, and are about to complete 3GPP Release 9!

Cydi said...

Yes, We know.. We found that most are actually unaware of the coverage of release 8 itself... We appreciate your observation.

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