Technology for improved mobile signal coverage

Femtocells at different places (Credit: ict-befemto.eu)Researchers have designed the technology for enhanced connectivity and coverage for the mobile communications at a local level and at the places with low signal strength.

This research has been supported by European Union (EU).

Researchers have developed ‘femtocells’, small mobile telephony cells that can improve the mobile connections in the localized small area such as a house or some flats by improved coverage. This technology will remove the problem of weak signals on “black holes” in houses, such as in corners, and towns and huge black spots in the more remote areas.

The technology in the form of commercial small cell can improve connectivity for the whole office while the femtocell in small areas such as public transport will give strong and static signals removing the problem of sudden drops in signal bars. They are very much better than the mobile booster stations according to Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS).

Femtocells have algorithms for optimal use of radio frequencies and fixed broadbands. Diverting the data traffic off the mobile airwaves helps the femtocells for more network capacity. Even more traffic can be generated by wiring the femtocell to the fixed line broadband network.

“These new algorithms allow femtocell networks to work together to provide top quality coverage for users and support seamless, low-power and low-cost relief enhancement to the mobile service,” Dr Lestable remarks. “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. Femtocells, and small cells will allow operators to meet these expectations and lower their operational costs at the same time.”

Although the idea is practical but the researchers are still working on some issues such as the protocols to be used in the layers of the “communication stack” and the prevention of interference of femtocell signals with the signals to and from the main base stations. The FP7 ‘Broadband-evolved Femto networks’ ( Befemto) project is working with various technological companies to solve the related issues.

“Europe recognises that mobile connectivity is a powerful social and economic driver,” Dr Thierry Lestable, the project’s coordinator, said in a statement. “EU support for the development of cheap technologies to enhance and boost innovative services is really important for growth, not just growth for telecoms manufacturers and providers, but for the entire economy. Most businesses rely now on mobility and permanent connectivity.”