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.
|3G UMTS/HSPA (field trials)|
|Softbank||Japan||2H 2007||6 vendors|
|21/02/2008||2Q 2008||Not stated|
|O2||UK||11/02/2008||2Q 2008||NEC (Ubiquisys, Kineto)|
|CDMA (soft-launched commercially live system)|
|2G GSM (includes live commercial systems)|
|Telfort (now KPN)||Netherlands||31/05/2005||ip.access|