Light Reading
Japan's Softbank selects the NEC femtocell solution with the Ubiquisys home access point and will launch services in January

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
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
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV – Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business – Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Is Windstream Boldly Setting a New Trend?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/29/2014
Sprint, T-Mobile: The Price War's On
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/30/2014
Pics From Comic-Con -- Honest!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/30/2014
If Not Muni Networks, Then What?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/28/2014
Utilities Drive Connected Cars Into the Smart Grid
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/31/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed