Ukrainians Fancy Femtocells

Ukraine's national operator JSC Ukrtelecom has joined the growing list of carriers with femtocell aspirations and plans to launch commercial services using the mini home base stations next year, Unstrung has learned. (See Vodafone Picks Femto Vendors, Softbank Trials Femtocell, Is AT&T Putting Out Femto Feelers?, and Sprint Goes Femto.)

The carrier only launched 3G services in November, delivered under the Utel brand, with WCDMA equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Nokia Networks .

Despite that lack of 3G experience, Ukrtelecom is set to take delivery of 3G femtocells from Huawei in the next few weeks and will soon start a trial with the Chinese vendor's equipment. The carrier also intends to put Nokia Siemens' femtocell through its paces in the future. (See NSN Intros 3G Femtocell.)

Lena Minitch, Utel's chief marketing officer, says the operator is currently working on its femtocell business plan. Speaking on the sidelines of the Informa plc Femtocell Solutions conference in London today, she said the operator believes it can offer better indoor coverage, develop new services, and cut the cost of its macro 3G network rollout by deploying femtocells.

The news from the Ukraine is good for Huawei, as Utel is the third operator known to be trying out the vendor's 3G femtocell. Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Orange France have both conducted femto trials with the Chinese vendor, with the latter still evaluating a number of different vendors. (See Huawei Boasts 3G Deals.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 2:57:26 PM
re: Ukrainians Fancy Femtocells We're hosting a femtocell webinar today at 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London.

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