European Union-funded researchers are developing technologies to fix the black holes in wireless coverage and free up mobile network capacity. The researchers are developing femtocells, small mobile telephony cells that improve both connectivity and coverage at the local level, and that divert data traffic off of mobile airwaves.
The Broadband-evolved Femto networks (Befemto) project is a collaboration between mobile telecommunications equipment firms, mobile operators, small companies with key technologies, and several technology research and development organizations to solve problems. "By adding femtocells and small cells into the mobile network mix, we make it possible for mobile operators to improve their spectrum efficiencies through heterogeneous networks and seamless integration of the fixed-line telecoms network," says Befemto project leader Thierry Lestable.
The researchers developed advanced cooperation, self-organizing, healing, and switching algorithms that enable femtocell networks to work together to provide better coverage for users. "We are focusing on the newly launched LTE or 4G networks because customers are paying a premium for these and will expect a true broadband experience: Fast, reliable, and unlimited access to everything everywhere," Lestable says.
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