Based in the UK near Cambridge, ip.access is a privately owned company founded in 1999. It helped kick-start the small cell industry, pioneering the very first 2G GSM picocell solutions for small businesses, and has since continued to innovate and expand its range of 2G, 3G, and now LTE enterprise and residential small cell solutions. The company now has more than 100 customers in 50 countries worldwide, and sells its technology and end-to-end solutions both direct to operator customers and through specialist and industry partners. In addition to its UK headquarters, ip.access also has offices in the USA and India.
Founding members of the Femto Forum – now the Small cell Forum - ip.access can justly claim to have been at the forefront of the evolving small cell industry from its very outset.
Founded by CTO Nick Johnson, ip.access was spun out of TTP (Telecom Technology Partnership), a consultancy and software stack business based in Cambridge. The company developed the first 2G picocell which (unusually for the time) used standard internet IP as the backhaul link. The end-to-end solution included a gateway and management system which integrated using standard interfaces with the core network.
Since those early days, ip.access technology has been integrated and adapted by solution partners for a variety of different applications - ranging from rural basestations and deployments within the maritime and aviation markets. The majority of the company's products address in-building business enterprise applications, using both 2G and 3G.
In addition, ip.access core 3G femtocell technology is also incorporated into Cisco's residential femtocell solution deployed with AT&T, which is the largest single operator 3G UMTS femtocell deployment worldwide.
Naturally, the internal system design of ip.access solutions conform to open standards, such as the Iu-h and TR.069 interfaces and this has allowed straightforward interworking with a variety of 3rd party gateways and/or supporting 3rd party small cells.
Their nano3G enterprise products include the S-Class and the E-Class ranges. The S-Class can handle up to 8 concurrent calls and data rates up to 7 Mbit/s, while the E-Class handles up to 24 concurrent calls and 14 Mbit/s. The S-Class is similar to a consumer device and designed to be "plug and play", so that it supports self-installation. The E-Class has higher RF power output and can be connected to a distributed antenna system. Both can operate with full open access, so that any mobile subscriber can use them.
Both 2G and 3G small cells are supported by the same central gateway, which connects into the core networks using standard open interfaces.
Moving forward, ip.access has revealed plans to offer a converged 3G/LTE/Wi-Fi multimode product, capable of 150Mbps LTE and 42Mbps 3G simultaneously. These products are designed for indoor public access and enterprise markets.
More details can be found on the ip.access website