Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.
July 27, 2010
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is preparing to launch a femtocell service offering in the UK, according to an industry source.
The move would give Vodafone UK its first femto competition in the country.
The service, expected to launch this fall, would follow in the footsteps of Vodafone's Sure Signal service. BT, though, would be the first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) to offer femtocells, the small base stations that boost indoor 3G coverage. (See Brits Get Femtos From July 1 .)
BT does not have 3G spectrum of its own, but it uses Vodafone's network to offer mobile services through an MVNO relationship. The femtocell service that BT is planning is likely to be an extension of its MVNO deal with Vodafone.
It's understood that BT will use the same femto devices as Vodafone -- designed by Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and made by Sagem Télécommunications SA -- to target small businesses and consumers suffering from poor indoor coverage. But BT would not use Vodafone's Sure Signal brand for the femto. (See Vodafone Revs Femto Engine, Femto Watch: Vodafone Means Business in Spain, and Femto Watch: Vodafone Expands Footprint .)
BT had not responded to Light Reading Mobile's questions as this article was published.
BT's interest in the small indoor base stations goes at least as far back as 2007, when the carrier said that it was evaluating the technology. (See BT Eyes Femtocells and Cisco, Ericsson Swell Femto Forum Ranks.)
Another femto option for BT would be to integrate the home base station technology into its Home Hub residential gateways, which is something the carrier is considering. (See Femto Players Gun for Gateways.)
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile
Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry for the last 20 years on both sides of the Pond. Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications including Communications Week International, Total Telecom and, most recently, Light Reading.
You May Also Like
Rethinking AIOPs — It's All About the DataMar 12, 2024
SCTE® LiveLearning for Professionals Webinar™ Series: Fiddling with Fixed WirelessMar 21, 2024
SCTE® LiveLearning for Professionals Webinar™ Series: Cable and 5G: The Odd Couple?Apr 18, 2024
SCTE® LiveLearning for Professionals Webinar™ Series: Delivering the DAA DifferenceMay 16, 2024