Femtocell Technology Put Through its Paces at Plugfest


Vendor community comes together at ETSI to verify the latest 3GPP femtocell

standard and facilitate further deployments


London, UK – 29th June 2011 – The Femto Forum, the independent industry and

operator association that supports femtocell deployment worldwide, today

announced it has successfully completed its third plugfest which this time

focused on the 3GPP release 9 femtocell standard. It surpassed previous

plugfests by undertaking true end-to-end testing using a real macro network

to test hand-over between femtocells and surrounding base stations, as well

as using France Telecom’s core network to test femtocell integration. The

series of plugfests aim to cultivate an effective ecosystem of standardised

femtocells. This helps provide operators and consumers with a wider choice

of femtocell products, while also facilitating economies of scale which help

bring down the cost of equipment.


The plugfest had widespread vendor support with 13 companies participating,

including vendors of network equipment and femtocell access points as well

as component providers.


It was organized in cooperation with ETSI (the European Telecommunications

Standards Institute), the technical support of France Telecom and overseen

by testing and compliance consultancy TRaC Global. The primary objective of

the plugfest, organized as an ETSI Plugtests™ interoperability testing

event, was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the 3GPP femtocell standard

in supporting interoperability between femtocell access points and network

equipment from different vendors. 


“The plugfest series has been crucial in helping create the current

environment in which femtocell deployments are growing remarkably. They

provide operators and end-users with the widest possible technology options

while also driving economies of scale, thereby helping to reduce equipment

costs and increase deployments,” said Karim Sharf, Chair of the Femto

Forum’s IOT SIG and CTO – Telecoms at TRaC Global. “This plugfest has

featured the most rigorous testing so far by replicating real network



Interoperability tests were conducted between femtocell network gateways,

security gateways, management systems femtocell access points and chipsets

to verify 3GPP’s Iuh interface, as defined in the Release 9 series of

specifications. 3GPP’s Release 9 femtocell standard was published in April

2010, and defines the secure interface between femtocell access points and

femtocell gateways in the core network.


The companies involved were Ablaze Wireless, Alcatel-Lucent, Alpha Networks

Inc., Askey Computer Corporation, Cisco, Continuous Computing, France

Telecom, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., ip.access Ltd., NEC Europe Ltd.,

Node-H GmbH,  Nokia Siemens Networks Oy and Picochip. 


About The Femto Forum

Femtocells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed

spectrum to connect standard mobile devices to a mobile operator’s network

using residential DSL or cable broadband connections. The Femto Forum

(www.femtoforum.org) has been set up to promote the wide-scale adoption of

femtocells. It has 137 members including 63 operators representing more than

1.71 billion mobile subscribers – 33% of the global total. Comprised of

mobile operators, telecoms hardware and software vendors, content providers

and innovative start-ups, its mission is to advance the development and

adoption of  small cells via femtocells and broader applications of femto

technology for the provision of high-quality 2G/3G/4G coverage and services

within the residential, enterprise and public access markets.