Sunday, October 7, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent and Sagem Collaborate on Femtocells

Alcatel-Lucent and Sagem Communications are collaborating on the development of a femto cell base station platform for extending 3G UMTS/HSPA network coverage in homes or business locations. This would help mobile operators improve indoor coverage. Sagem Communications is a leading supplier of DSL residential gateways.

Under the partnership, 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 companies said their collaboration 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 set-top box. The BSR Femto uses a DSL connection 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 (IMS)-based networks. It also works with all 3GPP-compliant UMTS/HSPA handsets.

Alcatel-Lucent and Sagem Communications have already achieved significant milestones in the BSR Femto development effort, including 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 the fourth quarter of this year).

Two versions of the BSR Femto are planned for UMTS/HSPA networks -- a 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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