ip.access, developer of femtocell and picocell solutions, has signed a femtocell technology development agreement with Qualcomm. Terms of the development agreement allow ip.access to develop WCDMA residential and enterprise femtocell products using Qualcomm’s Femtocell Station Modem (FSM) chipset platform. ip.access is also a licensee of Qualcomm’s femtocell patent licensing program.
Femtocells are low power access points that create a mobile phone signal in homes, offices, shops and other locations that are hard to reach using a regular outdoor mobile phone network. They provide a cost effective way for mobile network operators to add extra coverage and capacity to their networks, thereby improving their customers’ experience of using a mobile phone.
Network operators in North America, Europe and Asia have been accelerating their femtocell deployments in recent months; in June this year, AT&T completed the national rollout across the United States of its own-brand residential femtocell offering, the 3G MicroCell. The AT&T femtocell is built by Cisco using ip.access’ Oyster 3G femtocell technology.
“Our FSM chipset provides a highly integrated solution including radio frequency capabilities, baseband, network listen, GPS and a 1 GHz Snapdragon-based processor,” said Ed Knapp, senior vice president of marketing at Qualcomm Flarion Technologies. “The FSM reduces the cost of a femtocell access point while providing best in class interference management techniques and other advancements. ip.access has established a leading position in this exciting new technology area, and we are very pleased to be collaborating with them.”
“Femtocells and picocells are becoming an important part of today’s 3G networks, and will be increasingly used as part of future network evolutions,” said ip.access CEO Stephen Mallinson. “We are now seeing a mature femtocell ecosystem with diversity of supply for all of the key technology components. Qualcomm’s expertise, industry knowledge and connections make them a valuable potential supplier for ip.access.”