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Moto Freezes UMTS Femtos

BERLIN -- LTE World Summit -- Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has put its UMTS femtocell product development on hold and plans to put its femto efforts into CDMA, WiMax, and Long Term Evolution (LTE), Unstrung has learned.

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

mobileinsider 12/5/2012 | 4:04:25 PM
re: Moto Freezes UMTS Femtos

This move means more competition for Airwalk and Airvana (CDMA) in chasing Verizon Femto opportunities in 2010 and beyond. But, to bypass HSPA and HSPA+ Femto (will be around for years) may be a grave mistake in the long run (Europe) regardless of what AT&T has said about its US LTE plans. 


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