Our partner NEC has announced that it is working with Colt Technology Services to conduct the first ever live trials of Small Cells using a Femto-as-a-Service (FaaS) model (see this post from FWS 2012, where Colt spoke about the FaaS model). The companies are working in conjunction with a leading, large-scale European mobile operator using a multi-operator Small Cell (Femto) Gateway from NEC and Small Cell technology from Ubiquisys. This model breaks down the investment barrier for mobile operators to start their own Small Cell services, eliminating the need for a dedicated Femto Gateway in the network core.
FaaS is a subscription model, which eliminates upfront capital investment requirements in favour of a demand-led opex model, and does not consume the internal resources associated with an in-house project. Leveraging NEC’s gateway and Colt’s hosting and connectivity, FaaS enables operators to deploy small cells into their networks more quickly, in order to offload data traffic and improve the overall capacity of the macro network.
Small cells are becoming an important part of operator strategy as a customer retention and acquisition tool, adding capacity at the point of need and providing improved cellular coverage, especially indoors where most mobile data is consumed. Using Ubiquisys’ portfolio of small cells, this model covers connectivity for a range of segments including; residential, enterprise, indoor metro (coffee shops, shopping malls, etc.) and outdoor.