Report defines the future of LTE femtocells

May 17, 2011 // By Phil Ling
The Femto Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports femtocell deployment worldwide, has published an operator friendly guide to the LTE femtocell architecture options in the 3GPP standard. The guide concludes that operators’ choices will be driven by their existing infrastructure, how quickly they want to roll out femtocells and how widely they plan to deploy them.

Femtocells are important for LTE networks as they improve the operator business case, while also providing the best possible user experience. This has been validated with a number of operators recently making positive statements on LTE femtocells.  

The report finds that the three femtocell architecture options outlined in the LTE standard comprehensively support a wide variety of operator deployment scenarios. It details exactly what operators need to consider in order to make the most prudent architecture choice, based on their specific business and technology circumstances. It finds that operator choice should be dictated by how quickly they wish to bring a femtocell service to market, their current network architecture and how widely they intend to deploy femtocells in the longer term.  

The growing interest in LTE femtocells amongst the operator community is being driven by two principal factors as outlined in a Femto Forum whitepaper entitled ‘The Best That LTE Can Be’. Firstly, LTE femtocells provide important performance advantages by ensuring more users receive peak data rates more of the time, both inside buildings where the vast majority of mobile broadband data is consumed and outdoors through metropolitan and rural models. Secondly, femtocells also allow operators to create a more compelling LTE business case as they can considerably lower the delivery cost per bit through significant savings in cell site installation, maintenance and backhaul costs.  

The new LTE Femtocell Architecture guide is freely available on the Femto Forum’s whitepaper webpage alongside several LTE reports: