Red-M Launches World’s First Femtocell Network Engineering Service

Red-M has today launched a Femtocell Network Engineering service for mobile operators, using a unique simulation tool that allows cumulative interference between Femtocell and Macrocell layers of a 3G WCDMA network to be modelled. Working closely with operators and vendors, Red-M identifies any specific aspects related to potential Femtocell deployments, such as frequency allocation, existing network plan and future network growth predictions. Red-M then and uses these inputs to model the impact of Femtocell deployment on network performance by including sophisticated models of propagation within and around buildings.

As Femtocell solutions are planned to move from small and medium scale trials to general commercial availability, a number of key questions relating to deployment strategy and radio network engineering need to be addressed. A successful trial can provide confidence that the equipment performs according to expectations, and can also provide good feedback on customer acceptance and behaviour when using Femtocell solutions. The behaviour of the network in maturity, when a large number of Femtocells are deployed in close proximity and without the benefit of traditional cell planning, can only be accurately predicted using a comprehensive simulation. The Red-M Femtocell network engineering service ensures that simulations are accurate and realistic, and therefore helps operators and equipment manufacturers define the engineering rules that will be used for forthcoming commercial launches.

In order to support this service, Red-M developed a static 3G network simulator which can model the cumulative interference between a layer of 3G WCDMA Femtocells and their associated User Equipment (UE), and a separate WCDMA layer of macro sites and users. The simulator is able to accurately predict the impact of Femtocells on the 3G macro layer under scenarios where carrier frequencies are shared between layers, or dedicated to individual layers. Red-M was commissioned to develop the simulator and use it to evaluate Femtocell Radio Resource Management (RRM) algorithms by Ubiquisys Ltd, a leading Femtocell manufacturer based in Swindon, UK. Confidence in the results of the Red-M Femtocell Network Engineering service has been built by the Red-M development team, who, working closely with Ubiquisys, compared existing trials results with simulated outputs.

Commenting on the launch of the Femtocell engineering service, Will Franks, CTO of Ubiquisys said, “It was important for Ubiquisys to have access to a simulator tool to address the issue of interference caused by Femtocells, which has been the number one question in the minds of our operator customers. Red-M offered independent expertise in an area which we did not deem to be core to our own business, and their work has proven to be of the highest quality.”

Andrew Barnard, Managing Consultant for Red-M, added: “Red-M was delighted to be able to assist Ubiquisys. The development of the simulator tool and the evaluation of Femtocell RRM algorithms were both challenging and interesting, requiring a detailed knowledge of 3G networks and propagation modelling. We are pleased that the methodology was to answer key questions relating to large scale Femtocell deployment.”

Notes to the editor

About Red-M

Red-M is a wireless professional services company that provides consultancy, audit, design, implementation, systems integration and management services. Through its services, Red-M provides insight into the benefits and challenges of current and future wireless technologies and creates mission critical wireless networks that are delivered to requirements, right, first time.

Red-M has successfully completed 1000s of radio projects including over 300 major wireless systems in a range of diverse and challenging locations, including corporate buildings (e.g. Canary Wharf), most of the major airports in the UK (Heathrow), large shopping centres (Meadowhall), key UK sporting venues (Millennium Stadium), train stations (Waterloo), and hospitals (Bristol).

The company’s capabilities span all wireless technologies including Cellular (2G, 3G & GSM-R) PMR, Wi-Fi and WiMAX, and its customers include 3, Airwave, BAA, British Land, Bullring, Network Rail, O2, Ofcom, and T-Mobile.

Independent of equipment vendors and technologies, Red-M enables organisations to fully realise the benefits of wireless systems by delivering high quality solutions through an integrated five step cycle of best practice.

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