NEC receives world’s first IMS-based femtocell system order

NEC has announced that it has received an order from Softbank Mobile for the world’s first IP multimedia subsystem (IMS)-based femtocell system.

IMS-based femtocell systems consist of IMS cores, femtocell gateways and femtocell access points. Softbank Mobile completed development of a commercial system in June of this year and has already begun trial. The company plans to have IMS-based femtocell systems prepared for full commercial use commencing in January 2009.

Femtocell is a compact wireless base station designed for use in homes. It receives and transmits mobile phone radio waves using fixed indoor broadband connections. Femtocell technologies enable expanded indoor use of mobile phones where radio waves traditionally have difficulty reaching, and facilitate new data services and deliver self-contained high speed broadband communications to individual households.

NEC’s IMS-based femtocell system for Softbank Mobile uses an IMS configured with an SIP server to independently control communications from femtocells. The system distributes transmission load across the entire mobile network, regardless of the traffic load, and helps prevent congestion as femtocells spread and traffic increases.

The IMS framework is also compatible with backbone networks migrating to IP-based networks, and therefore facilitates the construction of all-IP networks for broadband, fixed and mobile communications. As the system is also highly compatible with SDP (Service Delivery Platforms), new business is anticipated in the future from the linkage of femtocells with home servers. NEC’s femtocell access point employs the Ubiquisys ZAP (Zonegate Access Point).