Just What Is a Wide-Area Femto, Anyway?

NOON Ubiquisys blurs some lines

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

November 23, 2009

1 Min Read
Just What Is a Wide-Area Femto, Anyway?

NOON -- The world of femtocell terminology gets more and more confusing by the day. There's everything from plain old home basestations to enterprise femtocells and super-femtos. [Ed. note: They come with a free cape?]

So, when Unstrung saw that Ubiquisys Ltd. had released something called a "wide-area femtocell," we had to wonder what that entailed. The box apparently has a range of five square miles, compared to the few thousand feet that home basestations normally cover. This is what a company spokesman writes:

"The device is still a femtocell in that it has identical hardware to Ubiquisys' existing in-door products, albeit with an external antenna and new software."

Additionally, Ubiquisys say the new box is a femtocell because:

  • It is cost effective to deploy.

  • Unlike picocells and macrocells, it has continuous auto-configuration of its radio, meaning it operates in harmony with surrounding cells.

  • It is a low-power device -- from 10dbm -- that uses standard DSL broadband for backhaul and can form an active self-organizing grid of coverage with neighbouring femtos.

So is there a dividing line where femto ends and macro begins anymore? — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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