Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3GPP2 publishes comprehensive specs for CDMA2000 femtocells

ARLINGTON, USA: 3GPP2, CDG, and the Femto Forum announced the formal publication of comprehensive specifications for femtocell devices that incorporate CDMA2000 1X and HRPD (EVDO) radio access technologies.

These specifications describe all aspects of a SIP/IMS-based femtocell architecture for highly-scalable deployment of femtocells that can provide voice, multimedia, and data services to existing CDMA2000 1X and HRPD mobile devices. The comprehensive 3GPP2 specifications will allow the integration of existing mobile devices, enhanced femtocell-aware mobile devices, femtocell devices (FAPs), security gateways, and femtocell convergence servers from multiple vendors.

Furthermore, the specifications support capabilities for new mobile devices that are femto-aware, providing Enhanced System Selection features for improved battery life, faster femtocell and macrocell system acquisition, improved handoff between the femtocell and macrocell system, and femtozone awareness when CDMA2000 femtocells are deployed.

3GPP2 has been engaged in highly successful Market Representation Partnerships with the CDMA Development Group (CDG) and the Femto Forum, and the new specifications reflect many of the building blocks for femtozone services that have been pioneered in the Femto Forum, including Local IP Access (LIPA) and Remote IP Access (RIPA).

The new 3GPP2 specifications feature support for LIPA, allowing packet data traffic to be directly offloaded from femtocells to customers’ home networks, corporate intranets, or to the public Internet. When mobile devices are operating outside of the femtocell subsystem, the 3GPP2 specifications also include a RIPA capability to allow mobile devices to connect to the user’s IP network at home and exchange IP data with their home network via a secure remote tunnel (for example to reach a printer, computer, or media server in a user’s home network while the user is receiving EVDO data service via the macrocellular network).

The 3GPP2 specifications provide a complete security architecture that allows CDMA2000 femtocell networks to support large numbers of femtocells via standard commercial IPsec/IKEv2-based security gateways. The 3GPP2 security architecture and protocols (most notably for the security gateway and FAP authentication mechanisms) are compatible with the security architecture for 3GPP radio technology-based femtocell devices.

The foundations of that common femtocell security model were pioneered in the Femto Forum. This architecture not only protects system operators’ core networks, but also provides for highly secure authentication of FAP devices using secure certificate-based mechanisms and protocols that are widely deployed and validated for security, robustness, manageability, and scalability.

Deployment of CDMA2000 femtocell networks is simplified by permitting system operators to exploit the advantages of SIP/IMS-based Femtocell Access Points (FAPs) that can be integrated into existing 1X mobility Core Networks (CNs) using a Femtocell Convergence Server. At the same time, HRPD (EVDO) packet data services can be directly integrated into system operators’ packet data core networks using existing interfaces to Packet Data Service Nodes (PDSNs). This minimizes the impact on system operators’ existing Core Networks while providing a smooth evolution to all-IP SIP/IMS-based networks that are compatible with the 3GPP/3GPP2 Common IMS architecture.

“This announcement represents culmination of the first major phase of 3GPP2’s extensive standardization project for femtocell devices – work that has been heavily supported by CDMA2000 system operators, many of whom have already announced commercial femtocell deployments or plans for commercial offerings in the near future,” said Cheryl Blum, 3GPP2 Steering Committee Chair. “The advanced SIP/IMS-based architecture and inclusion of industry-first femtozone service capabilities represent the commitment of the CDMA2000 vendors and system operators to delivering advanced interoperable femtocell solutions.”

“We are extremely pleased to see the substantial progress that 3GPP2 has demonstrated by providing the comprehensive foundation for multi-vendor integration of femtocells and core network elements for CDMA2000 system operators – and for end users of CDMA2000 1X and EVDO mobile devices,” said Simon Saunders, Chairman of the Femto Forum. “It is especially gratifying to see 3GPP2 provide industry standards that lay the groundwork for advanced femtozone services built on the framework pioneered within the Femto Forum.”

“The CDG is pleased to assist the development and incorporation of femtocell capabilities in CDMA2000 networks,” said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDMA Development Group (CDG). “Advanced femtozone solutions will help address the growing demand for network coverage and capacity, which is becoming increasingly important as smartphones, netbooks and other connected devices drive more data usage."

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