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huawei-logo-150 This major Chinese vendor offers a wide range of telecom infrastructure covering all major technologies and including radio and core network components. They overtook Ericsson to capture the largest global market share of mobile infrastructure in 2012 with strong growth in developing markets.

For several years, they offered a complete end-to-end femtocell solution using almost entirely their own in-house products. In 2012, they withdrew from residential femtocell applications, and concentrated their efforts on public access small cells to complement their macrocell sites. These AtomCell products are positioned to work seamlessly with their GigaCell macrocells as part of a comprehensive HetNet network.

Femtocell History

huawei-femtocell-designIn 2008, the company offered an end-to-end femtocell solution including their own femtocell gateway and management system. Their femtocell products had very similar specifications to other femtocells, with residential units supporting 4 simultaneous voice or data sessions and larger enterprise femtocells supporting 16 concurrent calls. A more attractive set of physical designs shown on right was launched in 2009, which won a Femto Forum award in 2010. Little information about the technical specification was publicly disclosed on the internet.

Texas Instruments claimed Huawei as one of the vendors who based their early femtocell on TI's DSP chip. 

Huawei position femtocells as one of the three solutions for indoor coverage, the others being DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) and ePico (their higher capacity/larger indoor picocell solution).

Femtocell Deployments

Various commercial trials and deployments were announced around this time, with operators including Starhub Singapore, Mobilkom Austria, Vodafone and China Unicom among others.

A number of other enterprise and small residential femtocell deployments were rumoured, but this did not seem to be a major priority for the company, which withdrew from the femtocell market in 2011.


Gigasite and Atomcell family address large and small cell needs

Instead it offers a small cell product branded the Atomocell, with 2W RF power, primarily for use in public access purposes. The small cell will be available separately for 3G and LTE, with multi-mode products in the longer term. Broadcom announced their selection for Huawei's ePico small cell designs in 2012. This is part of its wider SingleRAN and Gigasite portfolio.

Read the ThinkSmallCell interview held during 2012 with Liu Ju, DIrector of Huawei Small Cell Product Line

In June 2013, Huawei unveiled a new TD-LTE small cell

 

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