Moto Freezes UMTS Femtos
The vendor is not the first to back away from the UMTS femtocell business: Unstrung reported earlier this year that specialist vendor RadioFrame Networks Inc. had bowed out of the femto customer equipment market. (See RadioFrame Exits Femtocell Biz.)
But Motorola's move is indicative of how operators are starting to think about femtocells for next-generation mobile broadband networks. Here in Berlin, operators stressed that, while the technical and business case challenges have yet to be overcome for 3G femtocells, the opportunity for LTE femtos looks increasingly attractive.
"With 3G, people are trying to bolt those [femtos] on to a mature, standardized network, and it just doesn't work as well," says Paul Steinberg, Motorola fellow and chief architect for home and networks mobility. "Our focus is shifting to WiMax and LTE from a femto perspective."
Motorola says that both WiMax and LTE femtocells are on its product roadmap, and it also continues to actively develop CDMA femtocells. (See Picture This: Moto's Femto Frame.)
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung