Light Reading

Super Femtocell

Dan Jones

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it is a minature but high-capacity base station intended for business deployments rather than improving coverage in the home.

The super femtocell -- also known as the "enterprise femtocell" -- is like a home base station in that it tunnels back to the carrier's network via a wired connection. This 3G device differs from a standard femtocell in that it has more channels, which should allow the unit to support scores of users rather than just three or four. Additional security features round out the package for enterprise users.

A super femtocell should rival 3G picocells in the enterprise space. The difference between them is that the picocell is largely a dumb network element managed by the carrier network, while femtocells are self-provisioning and can support more security features.

The differences are currently moot, however, because, as of spring 2009, the super femtocell category is still largely "slideware" that is yet to be realized in the marketplace.

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