IntelliNet’s Mobile Data Offload Solutions Establish Interoperability with Key Femtocell Standards

in News, 3GPP, Femtoforum, Femtocell

April 5, 2010 -  IntelliNet Technologies recently announced today that it has successfully participated in the world’s first femtocell interoperability event. The plugfest was sponsored by the Femto Forum, an independent industry and operator association that supports femtocell deployment worldwide, in cooperation with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The plugfest had widespread vendor support with twenty-two companies participating, including major vendors, niche femtocell providers, and software and hardware component suppliers.

“IntelliNet had already developed proprietary femtocell gateway software that has been widely trialed and deployed by major network operators,” said Anjan Ghosal, president and CEO of IntelliNet Technologies. “As new specifications are released, such as Iu-h, which defines interoperability, our architecture enables us to quickly adapt, resulting in first-to-market deployments. We are pleased to have had the opportunity through this plugfest to verify the interoperability of our femtocell offerings.”

Femtocell access points, also known as Home NodeBs, are small wireless base stations that are intended for use in the home or office. They connect to the wireless operator’s network through the subscriber’s broadband Internet access. Their value to subscribers is improved indoor coverage, while the operators get the benefit of offloading traffic from their macro network. The 3GPP standard allows operators to select subscriber equipment and network equipment from different vendors.

Interoperability tests were conducted between femtocell network gateways, security gateways, femtocell access points and chipsets from all of the key vendors to verify the 3GPP’s Iu-h interface as defined in release 8. The plugfest also tested the IPsec/IKEv2 security protocols which allow femtocells to communicate over the public Internet to operators’ core networks in a highly secure manner. The 3GPP’s release 8 femtocell standard was completed in April 2009 and provides the secure interface between femtocell access points and femtocell network gateways in the core network.

IntelliNet tested its Femtocell Gateway, which is installed in the operator’s network and provides the secure access to macro network voice and data services and the control capabilities necessary to aggregate the very large numbers of femtocells. Residing between the femtocell and the femtocell gateway, the Iu-h interface defines the security architecture used to provide secure, scalable communications over the Internet. The Iu-h interface also defines an efficient, reliable method for transporting Iu-based traffic as well as a new protocol for enabling highly scalable ad-hoc femtocell deployment. IntelliNet also offers its Iu-h interface software to other equipment manufacturers.

The plugfest looked at how effectively the 3GPP’s recent femtocell standard facilitates interoperability between products from different vendors. This ensures that there is consistent interpretation of the standard and provides a means for collecting feedback for the 3GPP. Standardized femtocells provide operators and consumers with greater equipment choice and aid economies of scale, thereby helping to drive down femtocell costs.

”With the explosion of wireless data, mobile network operators are aggressively looking for solutions that can offload some of this traffic from their macro-cellular network,” added Mr. Ghosal. “Femtocells are one method, but Wi-Fi is gaining attention. In addition to our Femtocell Gateway, IntelliNet also offers its IWLAN Gateway, which enables the secure offload of data traffic to hot spots and homes through a Wi-Fi connection.”

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