StarHub Starts Customer Femto Trial

Two hundred lucky StarHub customers will get to take home and try out 3G femtocells from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) next week as the Singaporean operator launches a six-month user trial of the small home base stations. (See StarHub Trials Femtos.)

Singapore's second-largest operator is the latest to join a growing list of operators that have declared interest in home base stations. (See Softbank Trials Femtocell, , Is AT&T Putting Out Femto Feelers?, Vodafone CEO Seeks Cheap Femtos, FT Preps Femtocell RFP, Sprint Goes Femto, Vodafone Picks Femto Vendors, TeliaSonera Preps Femto Trial, T-Mobile Bets on Ubiquisys, Vodafone Eyes Femto Service This Year, and Verizon Checks Out Femtos.)

The trial will be open to 200 customers who have both post-paid mobile and residential broadband services from StarHub. The operator will use feedback from the trial participants as it considers launching a commercial service.

StarHub says it is looking for ways to expand its mobile service offerings, and it wants to test the viability of femtocells.

"We will be evaluating the effectiveness of this new technology in delivering 3G and 3.5G mobile services -- voice and video calls, as well as SMS, MMS and data services -- within the home environment," said Anil Nihalani, StarHub's head of mobile services, in a statement. "This trial will enable us to determine whether femtocell technology is a viable technology for use in Singapore."

For Huawei, this is at least the third operator trial where the Chinese vendor is involved. Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Vodafone España S.A. , and JSC Ukrtelecom are all putting Huawei's femtocell solution through its paces. (See Ukrainians Fancy Femtocells, and V'fone Trials Femtocells.)

ZTE's femtocell is also in a trial at Telefónica UK Ltd. in the U.K. (See Vodafone, O2 Test Femtocells.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

wap545 12/5/2012 | 3:41:19 PM
re: StarHub Starts Customer Femto Trial Who is making a WIMAX based Femtocell. I know Sprint issued an RFP for the device a while back. ANy takers or makers?? What is GA for these devices?
If a Service Provider with Licensed spectrum and Broadband wired (DSL and or Cable Modem) services elects to deploy a WiMAX (let's say AWS)network with Femtocells deployed (indoor and or Outdoors) in dark areas, they would quickly dominate the commercial Broadband space as well as much of residential. By leveraging both their Wired and the Portable/Mobile nature of WiMAX service allowing anywhere, anytime and very high speeds they will write a new chapter in this space.
This is one of the reasons the MSO are investing in the New Clearwire.

Jim A.

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