Tuesday, April 7, 2009

3GPP Publishes First Femtocell Standard

The Femto Forum, 3GPP and the Broadband Forum today announced that the world's first femtocell standard has been officially published by 3GPP, paving the way for standardized femtocells to be produced in large volumes and enabling interoperability between different vendors' access points and femto gateways.

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 new femtocell standard covers four main areas: network architecture; radio & interference aspects (both completed last December); femtocell management / provisioning and security (finalized this month). In terms of network architecture, the crucial interface between potentially millions of femtocells and gateways in the network core has been called Iuh. This 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). TR-069 is already widely used in fixed broadband networks and in set-top boxes and will allow mobile operators to simplify deployment and enable automated remote provisioning, diagnostics-checking and software updates. The standard also uses a combination of security measures including IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange v2) and IPsec (IP Security) protocols to authenticate the operator and subscriber and then guarantee the privacy of the data exchanged.


Work is already being done to further incorporate femtocell technology in the 3GPP's release 9 standard, which will address LTE femtocells as well as support more advanced functionality for 3G femtocells. Femtocell standards are also being developed for additional air interface technologies by other industry bodies.
http://www.3gpp.org/http://www.broadband-forum.org

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