Light Reading

NEC, Ubiquisys Win Softbank Femto Deal

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
9/22/2008
50%
50%

NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) and its partner Ubiquisys Ltd. advanced from the femtocell trenches and won a key battle today with the announcement of a femto contract from Japan's SoftBank Mobile Corp. , as previously reported by Unstrung. (See Japanese Femto Rules.)

Softbank plans to launch commercial services with the 3G home base stations in January next year, which is the first commercial launch date that an operator has set for 3G femtos anywhere and is well ahead of the industry expectations that femto services will launch in 2010 or later. (See 2010: Year of the Femto.)

NEC also claims the deal is the world's first contract award for an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based femtocell system, which comprises IMS core equipment, femtocell gateways, and high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) femtocell access points.

NEC's femtocell solution incorporates the Ubiquisys Zonegate access point (a.k.a. femtocell). The Ubiquisys femto is in trials at several operators, including Telefónica UK Ltd. , SFR , and T-Mobile International AG , but the deal with Softbank is the startup's first commercial contract. (See NEC, Ubiquisys Team, Vodafone, O2 Test Femtocells, France Is Favorite for Femto First , and T-Mobile Invests in Femto Firm.)

"A light has been begun to shine on a lot of the hard work we've had to do confidentially," says Keith Day, VP of marketing at Ubiquisys. "Operators have been very operationally focused… rather than [considering] whether this is the right approach or strategy. It's very important for the industry to have gotten beyond the concept stage."

According to the earlier Unstrung report, Softbank is also checking out the femto solution from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. Softbank has deployed 20,000 units as part of its trial, but an industry source at the time did not think the operator was ready yet for a mass market deployment because there were still some technical issues.

Softbank must also be confident of resolving a regulatory issue that could hinder the widescale rollout of its femtocell network. In Japan, only a qualified engineer can install a base station, and this rule applies to the small home base stations as well. The policy is expected to be changed by the end of the year.

Softbank had not responded to Unstrung's questions as this article was published.

The Japanese operator has long been at the forefront of femtocell developments. It staged a big femto demonstration more than a year ago with equipment from many different vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), ip.access Ltd. , Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS). (See Softbank Trials AlcaLu Femto, AlcaLu, Softbank Team, Softbank Trials Femtocell, Softbank Demos Moto Femtocell, Ubiquisys, Softbank Demo , and Sonus Joins Softbank Demo.)

In other NEC news today, the Japanese vendor made a strategic investment in Kineto Wireless Inc. , whose unlicensed mobile access (UMA) technology is used in dualmode, cellular/WiFi, fixed/mobile convergence services and is also part of the RAN gateway approach to connecting femtocells to the mobile core network. (See Kineto Supports HNB, 3GPP Picks Femtocell Standard, UMA Nears 3GPP Approval, and RadioFrame Slams Kineto Claims.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
desifemtoguy
50%
50%
desifemtoguy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:31:35 PM
re: NEC, Ubiquisys Win Softbank Femto Deal
Hi Michelle,
Finally some movement in the Femto space. Does NEC use the Tatara SIP based convergence server in this solution? Also, any idea on target volumes for deployment?
Thanks,
desifemtoguy
Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:31:28 PM
re: NEC, Ubiquisys Win Softbank Femto Deal
Yes, some numbers would be nice, but I don't have them other than that they'll do a soft launch next month with 1,000 access points.

Softbank did tell me that they're not looking for another vendor right now and that the quirky rule -- about qualified engineers having to install the base stations -- has not yet been changed.

I don't know about Tatara's server. I'll look out for that.

Michelle
borracho
50%
50%
borracho,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:30:54 PM
re: NEC, Ubiquisys Win Softbank Femto Deal
Softbank has a reputation of trying almost anything (most often without much success) to get some visibility over their other 2 big competitors. Their DSL network (Yahoo! Japan) and cellular network suffers from serious quality issues (dropped calls, coverage, ...). If they think that femtocell will fix their lousy networks then they need a slap on the face to make them realize that the only way to better their reputation is by spending real money on real network expansion instead of toying around with M&M technologies.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Then pick up your axe, put on your spandex trousers and get yourself down to Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE). Kerrang!!!
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ciena CEO: The Web-Scale Revolution

4|28|15   |   10:32   |   (3) comments


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A study run by Insights in Marketing and commissioned by Meredith shows the devices, channels and ways in which women are consuming content.
Hot Topics
No Service, No Problem: 5 Places That Want to Be Unconnected
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/1/2015
Astellia Highlights Customer Care Disconnect
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/29/2015
Cisco's Robbins to Replace Chambers as CEO
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/4/2015
Sprint Maps Out Its Next-Generation Network
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/5/2015
Ciena's Cyan Buy: It's All About the Software
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 5/4/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Cats with Phones
Cinco de Mayo Click Here
Cats With Phones says Happy Cinco de Mayo. Accessorize appropriately.