RadioFrame Slams Kineto Claims

Femtocell vendors have their say

Michelle Donegan, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

June 19, 2008

2 Min Read
RadioFrame Slams Kineto Claims

8:45 AM -- RadioFrame Networks Inc. ’s general manager for EMEA, Mark Keenan, has hit out at Kineto Wireless Inc. 's claims about its role in bringing about a consensus among vendors for the new Iu-h interface. (See Kineto Supports HNB and Ubiquisys Supports Standard.)

“The fact that Kineto has come out and said that its Iu-h is largely based on what Kineto has done is untrue,” Keenan says. “It’s almost comical that Kineto would make this statement. It’s just nonsense.”

Following our report, 3GPP Picks Femtocell Standard, RadioFrame and other femtocell vendors have commented on the status of femto standards work at the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) . Their message is that the 3GPP has agreed only on a framework for defining a femtocell standard, and not the actual standard yet. While getting to this point is a big achievement, now is when the hard work to hash out the details really starts. And, as one vendor puts it, the squabbling has only just begun.

“Everyone is fighting like crazy,” says Keenan. “To make out that this is a big love-in… it’s just not the way it works.”

Even though vendors have come together on an architecture, they are slugging it out over the specification details at the 3GPP. (See Vendors Unite on Femtocell Architecture.)

Andy Tiller, vice president of marketing at ip.access Ltd. , says it's too soon to celebrate and describes what the 3GPP has defined so far as being like a skeleton, and “there are the organs, like the heart, still missing.”

“We’re optimistic about the progress, but it’s premature to be claiming victory,” says Tiller. “There’s still a huge amount to be defined in the signaling protocol.”

And Nokia Networks ' Timo Hyppölä, head of the indoor radio solutions product line, weighs in on what the role of the generic access network (GAN) might be.

“The new Iu-h interface that 3GPP will work further is actually a modification of the existing and commonly known Iu/IP interface. There was some discussion and a proposal that the GAN architecture should be used… but this was rejected by 3GPP, and as a result a modified, light-weight Iu stack was agreed. There will possibly be re-use of some details from the GAN solution. NSN was among the main drivers to agree to the basic Iu-h structure.”

Hyppölä also stresses that the femto standard is not a done deal. “Target schedule for the work item completion is in September," he says. "It is, of course, good also to understand that the interface protocol alone does not constitute a meaningful standard for interoperability. Much work on [for example] security and management issues is still needed.”

All this means that the next industry gathering of femto folks at the Avren Events conference in London next week, Femtocells Europe 2008, is bound to be interesting.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

About the Author(s)

Michelle Donegan

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry on both sides of the Pond for the past twenty years.

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, Light Reading, Telecom Titans and more.

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