Small cells

Qualcomm Dishes New Femto Details

Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) has started laying out the details of its upcoming 3G femtocell chipset, which supports both CDMA and GSM standards, on its QCT Connect Website.

The CDMA pioneer is listing a number of technical features for the upcoming chipsets:

  • A combined radio chip and 3G baseband controller
  • Support for 3G CDMA standards as well as GSM technologies, such as High-Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+)
  • A 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a GPS receiver

The chipset will be a "potential platform for future applications" such as a multimedia gateways, Qualcomm says on the site. The vendor has so far said that it will deliver samples in the second half of the year.

It is not yet clear why multistandard 3G support is part of Qualcomm's package. Femtocells have traditionally been sold through carriers to boost capacity in a user's home, so support for either CDMA or GSM has typically been the approach that vendors take.

The positioning of the femtocell as a possible future multimedia gateway, however, is more usual in the market. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), in particular, is said to be interested in combining femtocell technology with cable TV and wired Internet access. (See Cisco Femto Spotted at AT&T.)

In fact, both Cisco and Qualcomm invested in UK-based ip.access Ltd. (See Qualcomm Invests in ip.access.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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