Thursday, 02 June 2011 17:32

Femtocells World Summit in London looks at taking technology to the next level

By Annemarie Roodbol

Femtocells, low-power wireless access points, have tremendous potential to change the way people use their mobile phones as the technology becomes increasingly competitive. This is according to Alejandro Piñero, director of the Femtocells World Summit, which will bring together more than 350 industry experts in London from 21-23 June, at what is the only global event of its kind.

Use in the home
Femtocells offer more than ensuring full mobile service inside the home, office or remote areas, Alejandro continues, they also have the potential to link the mobile phone to the world around it.  'A home femtocell can detect who is in the area, notifying the user on their mobile phone, and even serve as a hub for connected home utilities such as turning the air conditioning on and off.  Rural femtocells will also allow mobile service in previously untapped areas with poor voice and data coverage.  Furthermore, in busy city streets, femtocells will be able to offload the network by redirecting data and voice through strategically located small cells.'

Successes in disaster relief
Femtocells have been deployed not only in established networks, but have been used in such extreme cases such as disaster relief:  'In recent natural disasters such as the Christchurch earthquake, the Japanese Tsunami and the floods in HatYai in Thailand, operators deployed femtocells mounted on pick-up trucks to instantly reactivate the cellular network.'

Tremendous potential
According to Carole Mayhew, Managing Director of Avren Events, organisers of the Femtocell World Summit, femtocell applications will represent an enormous value added service to the user, allowing users to interact and receive all the relevant information directly on their mobile phones.

She continues:  'There is tremendous potential.  The technology has been evolving at a fast pace in the past few years, and with the launch of more and more femtocell services by operators worldwide, as well as the increased market penetration of data-hungry applications such as smartphones and tablets, femtocells will play a key role in offloading data traffic from the network.'

Wi-fi and femtocells can create a converged network
It is predicted that when wi-fi and femtocells pool resources, it will create a win-win for operators and customers alike:  'Wi-fi and femtocells can work together to create a converged network, providing better in-building solutions, download speeds and expanding existing mobile networks into previously remote areas,' comments Carole, 'by offering converged wi-fi and femtocell hardware, the market will be able to handle larger traffic through its broadband backhaul and take some of the weight off of conventional network architectures.'

The Femtocells World Summit brings together the femtocell ecosystem to discuss the latest developments and experiences with femtocell deployments worldwide.

Highlights from the Femtocells World Summit programme:

'¢  An Operator's Perspective on the First Femtocell Deployment in Greece
-  Dr. Polychronis Tzerefos - New Products, Innovation and Wholesale Group Product Manager, Vodafone Greece
'¢  Femtocell perspectives in Russia: Success factors and barriers
-  Alexey Alekseev - Project Director, Convergence Products, MTS Russia
'¢  Launching in the Enterprise Market: PT's Experience Before and After Femtocell Deployment
-  Paulo Simoes - Senior Business Development Manager, TMN Portugal
'¢  Femtocells and the data monetisation challenge
-  Jorge Alvarez  -  Network Strategy Manager, Telefonica o2 UK
'¢  Strategies and Challenges in Deploying Femtos in Rural America
-  Rick Vergin - CEO, Mosaic Telecom
'¢  Leapfrog with FemtoCells
-  Nick Papadoglou  -  Senior Manager, Wind Hellas
'¢  The Applications of Femtocells with Satellite Backhaul and their Role in Disaster Relief
-  Jesada Sivaraks - Engineer, TOT
'¢  MegaFon's experience in femtocell deployment in Russia, 2011 - year of challenge
-  Pavel Skorodumov - Senior Engineer, MegaFon
'¢  Network Norway's Experience in Launching an Enterprise Femtocell Service
-  Geir Ove Jenssen - Femtocell Project Manager, Network Norway
'¢  Femtocell Enabled Applications and Services - How to attract the Developer Community to Femtocells
-  Camillo Carlini - Home Network and Handset Engineering, Telecom Italia

Industry terms:
Femtocell is a small cellular gateway, typically designed for use in a home or small business. It connects to the service provider's network via broadband (such as DSL or cable); current designs typically support 2 to 4 active mobile phones in a residential setting, and 8 to 16 active mobile phones in enterprise settings.
Source:  Wikipedia

Event dates and location:  21-23 June 2011, The Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, London, UK

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