As we build up to the razzmatazz of CTIA, I'm expecting that femtocells will once again be stars of the show. But picoChip and the femto community will have half an eye on an equally important event taking place next week behind closed doors; the first Femto Forum plugfest, hosted by ETSI.
Aimed to validate the standards that define how femtocells fit into mobile networks, the plugfest represents an amazing achievement for the Femto Forum, picoChip and the wider femto community. It is just 11 months since the key Iuh standard was published, and, while a plugfest at this point does not mean that all of the interoperability challenges are solved, it is a major step along the way.
Although common in the data-communications industry, plugfests are less familiar to those of us who work in mobile communications. Although the real work will be done behind the scenes by the engineers responsible for the ‘hard yards’ of interoperability testing, the femtocell community as a whole can award itself a massive pat on the back for this significant step towards the vision of a fully open, interoperable femtocell ecosystem.