Airvana has said that its 'Betting the Farm' on femtocells in 2009. Recently it has entered a definitive supply agreement with Hitachi Communication Technologies, Ltd. ("Hitachi Com"). The agreement covers Airvana's HubBubT CDMA femtocell, Femtocell Service Manager, and Universal Access Gateway, and follows a joint development relationship announced in July 2008.
As part of the companies' previously announced joint-development agreement, Airvana has customized its HubBub CDMA femtocell, which is unique in the industry for its support of both 1x-RTT and EV-DO services; its Femtocell Service Manager, a scalable auto-configuration and remote management system; and its Universal Access Gateway, a carrier-class femtocell network gateway; to support the advanced features of Hitachi Com's Convergence Server. Under the terms of the agreement announced today, Hitachi will provide marketing, sales and support activities, primarily in the Japanese market, for the Airvana femtocell products. Delivery of the Airvana-Hitachi Com joint solution will provide operators with rapid deployment capabilities of advanced femtocell solutions. Hitachi's infrastructure equipment is used in networks serving more than 30 million Japanese CDMA and EV-DO subscribers.
According to Unstrung:
The company is slightly different from many others trying to crack the home base station market, in that it is developing both UMTS and CDMA boxes and pushing ahead with voice and data support straight out of the gate.
Airvana's main rival in the mini-CDMA field is Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which already has its Airave box in use at Sprint Nextel Corp. and possibly in tests at Verizon Wireless . Some analysts, however, expect that Verizon could also have its eye on Airvana's gear.
Competition is bit tougher on the GSM/UMTS side of the fence, involving everyone from established players such as Ericsson AB to well funded youngsters like RadioFrame Networks Inc. and ip.access Ltd.
Readers familiar with Airvana, however, will spot that although the technology is new [ed. note: sorta] the company's strategy for entering the market is the same as it took with 3G CDMA infrastructure: Partner with the big boys and gals and supply them with the technology that carriers end up using in their networks.
In other news, Tatara Systems Inc. is going full steam ahead for femtocells now that it has sold its mobile broadband business to Smith Micro Software Inc.
Now, femto-focused Tatara will use the money from this sale to develop its convergence gateway product used in the femto gateways that will sit in the network between the femtocell access points and the mobile core. In IMS networks, Tatara's convergence gateway acts as an SIP-application server.
According to a press release last month:
Ericsson and Tatara, the leaders in SIP-based network integration and femtocell convergence, have successfully demonstrated this solution, which enables CDMA network operators to cost effectively integrate femtocells into their IMS networks. This provides both enterprises and home subscribers in-building service levels that meet or exceed the service levels and voice quality of macro networks, while enabling improved economics and delivery of advanced services.
The solution combines Ericsson’s IMS Core Network infrastructure with a SIP-based femtocell and the Tatara Convergence Server (TCS) for CDMA-1xRTT.