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ip.access participates in SoftBank femtocell proof of concept

ip.access, the UK-based developer of in-building wireless picocell and femtocell solutions, is pleased to announce its participation in a proof of concept for 3G femtocells by SoftBank, Japan's leading telecommunications and media corporation.

ip.access' Oyster3G femtocell, which won the 2007 GSM Association award for Best Radio Access Product, is included in SoftBank's proof of concept programme, taking place in Tokyo on Monday 2nd July 2007. The event is the first of its kind in Japan.

The proof of concept shows mobile voice, video and data calls using the Oyster 3G femtocell to provide a 3G signal directly within the home. It also shows plug-and-play installation and configuration, which makes femtocells easy for consumers to install at home, and for operators to manage.

Femtocells work with any standard 3G handset. They hook up with the mobile operator's core network using an existing home broadband connection, enabling the operator to provide a higher quality for voice and data services in the home environment at a lower cost. This in turn allows the operator to offer differentiated services combined with attractive "home zone" tariffs.

Operators all over the world have expressed huge interest in femtocells, but the announcement of SoftBank's proof of concept tests mark the beginning of a new phase in the development of this technology.

Japanese operators and mobile customers are renowned for their exacting technical standards. ip.access' participation in SoftBank's proof of concept helps to demonstrate the value of femtocells, and the Oyster3G product, to some of the world's most demanding, and knowledgeable, consumers of mobile services.

"We are enormously excited that SoftBank is taking such a strong lead with femtocells," said Stephen Mallinson, CEO of ip.access. "Our whole team in Cambridge has worked very hard on the Oyster3G product, and we are very pleased to have been invited to work with SoftBank in this proof of concept programme."

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.