Will Franks - femtocell pioneer

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27 January 2009

How many calls can an enterprise femtocell support?

Well the answer to this question comes from the basic definition of a femtocell. It's an obvious answer but it's not necessarily an obvious path to get there.

A femtocell is a mass market device capable of being installed by the end user whether at home or in an office. So in an enterprise this could be the IT department, an IT reseller or one of the mobile operator's other sales channels.

This means that radio planning has to be automated (self-organising or cognitive radio). Assuming femtocells have to co-exist with existing macro networks that cannot be re-planned, what governs a femtocell's power output is the maximum interference the mobile operator will allow. This dictates the maximum power which in turn dictates a trade off between coverage and number of calls supported by each femtocell. Once you know what an enterprise's needs are (building type, coverage and type of business - call density), then it is simple to work out how many femtocells you need to cover the building(s) and what call capacity is needed for each.

So to meet any business's needs you need flexibility and that's why we came up with the concept of meshed femtocell networks. This can be made up of femtocells with various call capacities as needed. You can easily position them around a building so that coverage is guaranteed, as is handover and call capacity, at the lowest possible total cost.