Femtocells in the Broadband Home – Will 4G Solve Current Challenges?


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Why talk about femtocells now?
Frost & Sullivan estimates the femtocell market to grow to $5.94 billion by 2016, from less than $0.05 billion in 2009! Although long expected, femtocells are now gaining momentum. Driven by the need to extend indoor and metro coverage and capacity of existing wireless services including LTE, to reduce backhaul costs and to provide cost-effective macro network offload, they are expected to be a strategic solution for mobile broadband networks.

The explosion of data traffic generated by smartphones, video, OTT players is altering the quality of service of mobile networks. Operators are looking for technical solutions that can ensure optimum customer experience. Femtocells bring an adequate answer. By connecting a mobile phone to the service provider’s network via broadband, they offer the operator a solution to offload their macro access network and therefore offer consumers an improved coverage and potentially better voice and data quality of service.

We foresee 6 significant challenges before femtocells become a true success.

1.Which tradeoffs on Spectrum and Interference? What impact on Macro network?
2.What is the level of reliance on Backhaul and Quality of Service?
3.How to find the optimal configuration for Network and Device Management ?
4.Standardization and interworking - LTE, HSPA+, mWiMAX, EV-DO… What about WiFi, MiFi?
5.Security - in light of recent news, how easy is it to tamper with femtocells?
6.Does the eco-system provide sufficient momentum and support for the expected growth?

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Femtocells in the Broadband Home – Will 4G Solve Current Challenges?

  1. 1. BBWF Master Class – Broadband Home SymposiumFemtocells in the Broadband Home – Will 4G Solve Current Challenges? 27 September 2011 Dr. Christian Krapichler Director of Technology Altran Technologies UK
  2. 2. Altran & FemtocellsAltran Altran & Telecoms Altran & Femtocells“Bringing our clients €300m of technology From technology strategy toideas to life” innovation & services R&D… to deployment and operations» €1.4bn turnover » Complete lifecycle» 17,000 staff » E2E value chain » All key players» 5 key industries » 4 lines of expertise » Connected Solutions» 26 countries 15% 22% Aerospace Financial Services & Defence & Government 18% 21% Automotive Telecoms Infra & & Media Transportation 24% Energy, Utilities, Industry, Healthcare
  3. 3. Femtocells – Current Challenges Femtocells are rapidly gaining momentum in the market... ...and so are the challenges!
  4. 4. Femtocells – Current Challenges Radio Current challenges stretch acrossQoS / QoE Security many aspects: • Technology Femtocell Challenges • Regulatory • BusinessNetwork / Standards, Device Inter- • Market Mgmt operability ...and from R&D Eco- to Integration, System Deployment and Operations
  5. 5. Interference at the Heart of Radio related Challenges Radio• Indoor coverage key to • Operating Femtocells QoS / QoE Security Femtocell Challenges Femtocell proposition on dedicated band Network / Device Mgmt Standards, Inter- operability• 70% of calls indoors – leads to shortage Eco- System vs. 2% of buildings Spectrum • UMTS 900 as viable with indoor solution option Keywords include: 64QAM, MIMO, Adaptive Signal Processing, Tx/Rx Diversity, Cooperative Comms, Beamforming, Coverage Interference Throughput Cognitive Radio Our Verdict:• Technology evolution • Femto-Femto  Self- and new capabilities Optimization 4G will help addressing• Complex algorithms to Complexity • Femto-Macro  issues with Throughput, address radio dedicated bands for Interference, and – performance and Residential, impact on depending on licenses – interference issues Metro / Enterprise Spectrum, at the cost of increasing Complexity
  6. 6. Recent Headlines emphasize need to ensure Security Radio QoS / QoE Security Femtocell Challenges Network / Standards, Device Inter- Mgmt operability“Femtocells wilt “UMA FemtoCell Eco- Systemunder attack” “Security Issues in Security Concerns” Next Generation Mobile Networks: “Femtocell Security: LTE and Femtocells” Capturing phone“Insecure [...] numbers of passers-by”femtocells allow “MAJOR HACK: [...]eavesdropping, call femtocells open phonesfraud” up to intercept”• Recent headlines highlight security concerns Our Verdict: around Femtocells – whilst some are biased or exaggerated, others emphasize the need to address Security across the entire network. Such Security concerns are particularly• The impact on Residential Femtocells is limited, applicable to new whereas Metro / Enterprise deployments will technologies – and 4G require additional effort – to meet the security Femtocells will be no expectations of mobile networks and keep the exception. advantage over other technologies such as WiFi.
  7. 7. Standards – Interworking – Interoperability: Vital for the success of Femtocells Radio QoS / QoE Security • Seamless H/O Network / Femtocell Challenges Standards, • IMS integration Device Inter- Mgmt operability Macro- • Network / Device Eco- System Network Management The nature of Femtocells requires co- • No H/O existence and WiFi • Need Dual Stack: interfacing with • Complexity (UMA) • Higher Cost various other • Less Battery Life technologies. Femto- Our Verdict: cells • DSL as Backhaul • Need E2E Security Femtocells have many Fixed • QoS / QoE impact touch points towards • Triple/Quad Play various networks - 4G vs. separate ISP network architectures support interworking, albeit new standards & • Need standardized interfaces increasing complexity M2M require further effort. • Example: Smart Metering for Residential Solar
  8. 8. Expanding Eco-System provides Basis for expected Growth 9 new Radio QoS / QoE Security deployments Femtocell Challenges Exponential in 2011Q2, Network / Device Standards, Inter- Mgmt operability growth now totalling Eco- System forecasts 31 commercial Growth in services breadth and depth – Eco-System ‘getting Growing demand crowded’ 8 of Top 10(Data Explosion) – Operator Groups but revenues offer Femto lagging behind Our Verdict: Although driven by Operator ‘push’ more 68 vendors than Consumer ‘pull’, Current in Femto demand and growth Transition Forum – from Early forecasts show that incumbents and Adopters to new entrants, Femtocells have found Early Majority ‘Telecoms’ and their place – supported ‘IT’ players by a strong eco-system. Sources: • Femto Forum / Informa • Frost & Sullivan • Pyramid Research
  9. 9. Network / Device Management – “Two Worlds Colliding” Radio QoS / QoE Security Femtocell Challenges Network / Standards, Device Inter- Mgmt operability Eco- System Managed Femto- Consumers Networks cells• NOC, NMS • Multitude of profiles• Managed NW • Untrained – Performance Our Verdict: requires• Strong Security customer Auto-Configuration and• Radio support Self-Optimization are Optimization • Uncontrolled – mandatory in residential• Capacity & Site risk of mis- configuration, setups – requiring time Management and effort to identify tampering• SW/HW and tune right • Provides ‘own’ Upgrades parameters particularly backhaul• Technology • Large number of for new technologies. Roadmap ‘sites’
  10. 10. Femtocells as Enablers for Services and Improved QoS / QoE Radio QoS / QoE Security “Connected Home” “Femtozone” Femtocell Challenges Localized Services Network / Standards, Services Device Mgmt Eco- System Inter- operability • Multimedia (incl. mobile TV, • Home Tariffs interactive TV, HD IPTV) • Location Based Services • Home Networking, access • Presence to PC / other services • Context • M2M, Automation • FMC IntegrationDependency on Backhaulfor E2E QoE:• Integrated Femto / HomeGW Our Verdict:• Optimize bandwidth efficiency• Traffic Shaping Detection Femtocells promise to be Improved enablers for a new “Core Services” generation of services. • Voice Quality 4G will significantly • Data Speed improve the underlying • Indoor Signal Strength ‘Core’ services and • Latency strengthen ‘connected’ Source: Femto Forum and ‘localized’ services.
  11. 11. Conclusions – Turning the Question on its Head!Our Verdict: “Femtocells in the4G technology will Broadband Home –address some of the Will 4G Solve Currentcurrent challenges forFemtocells – others are Challenges?“yet to be solved, andnew challenges willarise. Our Verdict: Yes – Femtocells provide many solutions to “4G in the achieve the goals of 4G Broadband Home – deployment, and help addressing technical and Will Femtocells Solve commercial challenges Current Challenges?“ and considerations.