Most 3G femtocell trials remain secret

There are very few publicly announced 3G femtocell trials as yet. The table below shows those we’ve found openly trumpeted in the press. Whilst vendors talk about many trials being in progress (up to 20 worldwide), without confirmation these could include lab trials or be very limited in scope.

The major operator groups are certainly fully engaged – Vodafone, T-Mobile, Telefonica O2. It’s also rumoured that Orange are conducting their own.

Early feedback on the grapevine suggests there are still a number of RF problems to resolve, to avoid interference with the macrocellular network and other femtocells. Standards are also an issue, with operators clearly wanting to promote as much interoperability between vendors as possible, so they can tradeoff/choose between femtocell vendors in future.

We’ve separated out the 2G picocell story because these are typically managed directly by the operator as an integral part of their network. There are some initiatives on this for 2G capacity, especially in the corporate enterprise space – this has had some interest both in emerging markets such as India, as well as mature markets (using some spare spectrum licensed for in-building use only) such as the UK.

 

Operator

Country/ies

Announced

When

Who

3G UMTS/HSPA (field trials)      
Softbank Japan   2H 2007 6 vendors
T-Mobile Germany,
Netherlands,
UK
21/02/2008 2Q 2008 Not stated
Vodafone Spain 17/01/2008 1Q 2008 Alcatel-Lucent
Vodafone Spain 17/01/2008 1Q 2008 Huawei
O2 UK 11/02/2008 2Q 2008 NEC (Ubiquisys, Kineto)
TeliaSonera Denmark 13/02/2008 2Q 2008 Alcatel-Lucent
TeliaSonera Lithuania 13/02/2008 2Q 2008 Motorola
SK Telecom Korea 15/11/2007   Huawei
         
CDMA (soft-launched commercially live system)    
Sprint US 17/09/2007 3Q 2007 Samsung
         
2G GSM (includes live commercial systems)    
TeliaSonera Denmark 30/01/2008   ip.access
Orascom Various 18/09/2007   ip.access
T-Mobile Europe 11/10/2006   ip.access
HECL India 14/06/2006   ip.access
Telfort (now KPN) Netherlands 31/05/2005   ip.access
O2 Czech 10/02/2005   ip.access
SMART Indonesia 27/09/2004   ip.access
Proximus Ukraine 26/01/2004   ip.access
T-Mobile USA 23/10/2003   ip.access
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