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Airvana and Alcatel-Lucent combine femtocells with IMS

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Airvana and Alcatel-Lucent announced plans to jointly develop a CDMA/EV-DO femtocell platform that incorporates an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). The two said that: “this initiative will ensure that CDMA/EV-DO network operators are able to make use of femtocells to improve the in-building wireless experience for their subscribers, while ensuring that these new network elements work seamlessly with the broader mobile network.”

Under the agreement, Airvana will rework its femtocell platform to include interfaces with Alcatel-Lucent’s IMS core.

Mike Iandolo, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s CDMA Network activities, said in a statement:

Alcatel-Lucent’s leadership and innovation in CDMA and IMS, as well as our end-to-end engineering, integration and delivery capabilities nicely complement the work Airvana is doing in developing the femto air interface and gateway. We look forward to using the respective strengths of our two companies to deliver a high-quality solution that will demonstrate the benefits of the femto deployment model and unlock the value of converged services for their customers.”

Airvana, Inc. (NASDAQ: AIRV) and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext: ALU) (Paris: ALU) (NYSE: ALU) today announced that the two companies will develop an integrated solution — incorporating IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and CDMA/EV-DO femtocell technology — to support more effective delivery of mobile voice and multimedia services inside homes and offices. This initiative will ensure that CDMA/EV-DO network operators are able to make use of femtocells to improve the in-building wireless experience for their subscribers, while ensuring that these new network elements work seamlessly with the broader mobile network.

Femtocells are small — about the size of a book — cellular access points that use a subscriber’s existing broadband connection to provide enhanced voice, video and data services, especially in the home, using existing mobile devices. Femtocells help operators meet the growing demand for mobile voice and data services by cost-effectively increasing network coverage and capacity, particularly in difficult-to-serve indoor environments.

Under a new development agreement, Airvana will enhance its femtocell offerings with new interfaces to enable smooth integration with Alcatel-Lucent’s IMS core. This agreement builds on demonstrations of combined, femto-based, in-building solutions by Alcatel-Lucent and Airvana at the CTIA Wireless 2008 trade show and exhibition in Las Vegas earlier this year.

“Alcatel-Lucent’s leadership and innovation in CDMA and IMS, as well as our end-to-end engineering, integration and delivery capabilities nicely complement the work Airvana is doing in developing the femto air interface and gateway,” said Mike Iandolo, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s CDMA Network activities. “We look forward to using the respective strengths of our two companies to deliver a high-quality solution that will demonstrate the benefits of the femto deployment model and unlock the value of converged services for their customers.”

The combined solution — which integrates IMS core network elements from Alcatel-Lucent with Airvana’s HubBub(TM) femtocell access point — can support seamless inter-working between the CDMA macro network and the IMS-supported femtocells, and will help minimize any impact on the existing network in terms of performance, complexity and the costs associated with managing the network.

“The successful deployment of femtocell solutions by operators requires tight integration and interoperability between all the components that make up a femtocell network,” said Sanjeev Verma, vice president, Femtocell Business and Corporate Development, Airvana. “Alcatel-Lucent and Airvana continue to work together to create the advanced, IMS-based, end-to-end femtocell solution that CDMA operators demand.”

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