Nokia Siemens Networks has launched a 3G femtocell, and a network gateway to allow operators to manage multiple femtocells in subscribers' homes.
However, the company looks set to stay outside the femto industry body, the newly-launched Femto Forum.
Femtocells sit in customers' homes and offices, and provide 3G voice and data indoors, using the customer's own broadband to connect to the operator's network. They should be no more difficult to install than any broadband SOHO gateway, Nokia said, and will include other features such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet ports and storage.
"Our novel Femto Home Access solution meets what the market really needs," said Ari Lehtoranta, head of Radio Access, Nokia Siemens Networks. "It is a strong combination of telecommunications end-to-end expertise, femto cell know-how and consumer mass market understanding,"
No major operator has yet announced plans to deliver a femto-based service, and the Femto Forum launched yesterday hopes to gather a coherent ecosystem that will encourage them to do so. Without a consistent standard for femtocell management, operators are less likely to deliver femto services.
Unfortunately, while Nokia Siemens' gateway plugs into the operator's core network and is intended to manage femtocells from multiple vendors, Nokia Siemens has announced that other vendors will have to make sure their femtocells conform to a proprietary interface.
Nokia Siemens has not yet joined the Femto Forum, although it may be one of the sixty companies reportedly still making their minds up. Nokia's release makes no mention of the Forum, or multiple vendors The Forum hopes to get Nokia Siemens on board, but at present, any other vendors will have to rely on Nokia Siemens, which promises to "co-operate with femto vendors to ensure interoperability of their equipment to the Nokia Siemens Networks interface".
Nokia has not yet made any response to the formation of the Femto Forum.
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