Femto Forum announces second Plugfest

The Femto Forum, the independent industry association that supports femtocell deployment worldwide, has announced its second plugfest interoperability testing event which will focus on the Broadband Forum’s femtocell management standard.

The event, which is to be held before the end of 2010, will be overseen by testing and compliance consultancy TRaC Telecoms & Radio and is part of an ongoing programme aimed at ensuring the femtocell industry is built on fully open and effective standards.

The testing programme will verify how effectively the standard facilitates interoperability between products from different vendors. This ultimately provides operators and consumers with a choice of equipment from multiple vendors while also widening the potential market for vendors themselves. The event will build on the success of the Femto Forum’s first plugfest event which focused on the 3GPP’s Iuh interface and received widespread vendor support with more than 20 companies participating.

The Broadband Forum’s femtocell management standard (TR-196) was published in April 2009 and is an extension of the TR-069 standard that is widely used in fixed broadband networks and in set-top boxes. The femtocell standard allows mobile operators to simplify deployment and enable automated remote provisioning, diagnostics-checking and software updates.

“It is important to remember that industry standards have paved the way for the ever increasing number of femtocell deployments around the world. They provide operators and users with a real choice of devices while also driving economies of scale to bring down the cost of the technology,” said Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum. “Following on from the success of our first plugfest, we are excited to be again driving development in a key area.”

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