Ubiquisys, a provider of 3G femtocells, has announced that it is supplying Softbank Mobile with femtocells access points that the operator plans to provide for free, along with free ADSL connections for residential, retail and small office based customers in Japan.
The Softbank Mobile femtocells will be set to open access mode, meaning all customers will be able to access the devices, increasing coverage for all, offloading traffic from the macro network and adding network capacity.
The Ubiquisys Femto-Engine system that is behind Softbank Mobile’s femtocells is comprised of two distinct components. Firstly, Ubiquisys supplies operator-proven Femto-Engine software that provides the femtocell intelligence, a range of continuous self-adapting systems proven in multiple shared carrier deployments, that enables the device to react instantly to any changes in its environment. Secondly, Softbank Mobile is being supplied with software-ready femtocell devices developed from Ubiquisys hardware blueprints. Femtocells powered by Femto-Engine incorporate years of experience gained by Ubiquisys through operator testing and deployments on live networks.
This model has allowed Ubiquisys to break through the mass market wholesale price barrier allowing femtocells to move from niche applications to the consumer mainstream.
One criticism of existing femtocell launches has been that the consumer is expected to pay for the device. By offering the device and an ADSL connection for free, Softbank Mobile has overcome this barrier to consumer adoption and becomes the first operator to offer a premium indoor mobile experience as standard.
“Making femtocells free to consumers has long been considered critical for widespread adoption,” said Chris Gilbert CEO Ubiquisys. “Softbank Mobile’s groundbreaking offer redefines the small cell business model and once again illustrates its position as a pioneer within the industry. Also by using the remtocells in ‘Open Mode’, allowing any subscribers to connect, it will significantly increase the operator’s network capacity, benefitting all users.”