Worldwide Standardizations of Femtocell

Worldwide Standardizations of Femtocell

Phillip Brown (Tatara Systems Inc., USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0092-8.ch002
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This chapter addresses global 3G/4G femtocell standardization activities in 3GPP, 3GPP2 and the WiMAX Forum®1, as well as related activity in the Broadband Forum (BBF) and Femto Forum. Common challenges introduced by femtocell technology are identified, as well as the reasons for pursuing standardized solutions and why the various standards bodies diverged in their approaches. A brief overview of each group is given (e.g., the Technical Specification Groups and/or Working Groups in which femtocell-related discussions take place). This is followed by a detailed review of the femtocell architecture devised for each radio access technology, including the network elements, interfaces, and protocols that were created or revised to support femtocells, and a summary of the femtocell-related documents published by each group. Finally, brief descriptions of the supporting role played by both the BBF and Femto Forum are given.
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The predominant 3G/4G mobile technologies defined by 3GPP, 3GPP2 and WiMAXTM 2 Forum comprise both radio access and core network components. While functionality is often roughly equivalent among comparable entities between the three standards bodies, the terminology they use often varies. Figure 1 and Table 1 depict a generic architecture and terminology for femtocell-related mobile network entities, and the corresponding terminology specific to each of the respective standards bodies.

Figure 1.

Generic mobile network architecture (with femtocell)

Table 1.
Mobile network entity terminology
Entity3GPP Term3GPP2 TermWiMAX Term
Base StationNode B / eNode B*Base Station (BS)Base Station (BS)
Femto GatewayHNB-Gateway
Femtocell Convergence Server
(FCS) / Femtocell Gateway (FGW)
Femto Gateway
Femto Management SystemHNB Management System (HMS)Femtocell Management System (FMS)WFAP Management System
FemtocellHome Node B (HNB)
Home eNode B* (HeNB)
Femtocell Access Point (FAP)WiMAX Femtocell Access Point (WFAP)
Mobile PhoneUser Equipment (UE)Mobile Station (MS)Mobile Station (MS)
Radio Network ControllerRadio Network Controller (RNC)Base Station Controller (BSC)Access Service Network Gateway** (ASN-GW)
Security GatewaySeGWSeGWSe-GW
Subscriber GroupClosed Subscriber Group (CSG)Access Control List (ACL)Closed Subscriber Group (CSG)

* eNode B is the term used for an E-UTRAN (LTE) Node B (E-UTRAN has no architectural equivalent for RNC)

** the ASN-GW is not strictly analogous to an RNC/BSC but is shown here for completeness

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