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Femtocells: Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Technology by Rasa Siegberg, V. Srinivasa Rao, Ravi Rai Bhat, Andrea Giustina, Stuart Carlaw

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6

Femtocell Management

Ravi Raj Bhat and V. Srinivasa Rao

6.1 Introduction

This chapter addresses the management and configuration needs of femtocells, building on a previous article by the same authors.1

While femtocells have the potential to enable a very high-quality wireless connectivity experience in the home or office, one of the challenges is the mushrooming numbers of FAPs in uncontrolled customer premises environments. Base stations and Node Bs in the macrocell network are controlled, managed and sometimes owned by operators. However, in femtocell environments, subscribers are expected to walk into a store, buy a FAP, sign up for a femtocell service, take the FAP home, connect it to an existing broadband access network, and start using the femtocell service; similar to and preferably simpler than today's Wi-Fi experience. One important difference is that, while Wi-Fi works on unlicensed spectrum, femtocells work in licensed spectrum, which is an operator's asset. So, operators need to have full control over that critical asset (wireless spectrum), similar to what they have in the macrocell environment. Operators want to control who uses the femtocell service through the FAP and how they use it, while ensuring a zero-touch experience for the subscriber. This requires zero-touch remote provisioning and management capability. Provisioning involves initial bringing up of the FAP and the femtocell service, whereas management involves ongoing control of the FAP and femtocell ...

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