Home Other What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?

What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?

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Post about femtocells has shown, one can easily get confused about what equipment is used as : what is a base station, what is a Femto AP, how does it all relate to Wi-Fi, and so on.There is a simple explanation in the topic about the different types of equipment and the classification of base stations for multi-standard cellular networks.
What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?
Network hierarchy
If you want to know what that thing is hanging on your neighbor’s house and how it’s creating cellular coverage for you, welcome underneath.
The first thing to understand is that prefixes like macro-, pico-, etc. do not characterize in any way the quantitative change of the base station, they only denote the place of the class in the hierarchy.

Macrosota (large)

What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?
Base station
What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?
Sector antennas
These are the standard base stations on which the operator’s mobile network is built. The principles of operation, the transport solutions used, are given in any article on the architecture of cellular networks. The main transport at the moment are standard SDH-TDM networks, but the moment of mass transition to IP/Ethernet is getting closer. Characterized by high power – up to 60W, a large coverage radius – 10 … 100 km, the large mass-size indicators (rack up to 200kg). There are varieties of macro base stations – such as distributed bases (Distributed BTS), but in this classification is not essential. There are any standard authorized for use in Russia: GSM/UMTS/CDMA in the future. LTE

Microsote (10 -6 )

What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?
Micro Base Station
A very common solution in large operator networks. In fact, it is a compact version of the first type, with reduced characteristics in terms of base capacity, radiated power – up to 5 … 10W, coverage radius – 1 … 5 km and mass-dimension characteristics (compact housing weighing up to 50 kg). Used by the operator in places where it is difficult to install a macro base station or where high power and capacity are not required. For example: large shopping centers, office complexes, remote villages, etc. Often used in conjunction with a Distributed Antenna System (DAS), consisting of cables and antennas spread throughout the building. The antennas can look in many different ways, for example, as in the subway :
What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?
Panel antennas
There are also GSM/UMTS/CDMA standards in the future – LTE.

Pico or nano base station (10 -12 and 10 -9 )

What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?
Picosota
What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?
“Nanosote”
This is a more exotic option. Low power base station of office/home design. It uses only IP/Ethernet networks as a backbone transport network, which reserves the necessary bandwidth to pass the traffic generated by the base station. Typical powers up to 0.2W, the dimensions are about the size of a laptop computer. Despite its small size, it is still a base station that belongs to the operator and cannot be handed over to the subscriber to run and use on their own. Usually installed in the offices of corporate clients, or in places of possible concentration of users – restaurants, hotels, etc.
Technically, there could also be GSM/UMTS/CDMA in the future – LTE. However, the current practice is that pico/nano base stations are called only low-power bases of the GSM standard.

Femtocell or femto-access point (10 -15 )

What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?
Home femtocell
A femtocell is no longer a base station – it is an Access Point. The difference in terminology appears due to the fact that this equipment is originally oriented for use as a home or office station, and it is assumed that the owner is the user. Transport is IP/Ethernet only, both ISP dedicated channel and public Internet. The fundamental difference from all other types of base stations is autoconfiguration when included in the transport network and when connected to the operator’s network. The Femto AP independently evaluates the radio parameters at the starting point, selects the best settings for itself, and activates if the operator allows it. For data protection – all communication with the operator’s equipment begins only after the IPSec tunnel is established. Typical radiated power is up to 0.1W, the dimensions are about the same as a home Wi-Fi router.
Same GSM/UMTS/CDMA standards, LTE in the future. However, now the Femto AP is firmly associated only with the UMTS (3G) standard, in the future the mass appearance of such devices of the LTE standard is expected.

Repeater

What is the difference between a femtocell and a GSM repeater, Wi-Fi router and macrocell? Who uses what kind of uplink?
GSM Repeater
This equipment is included in the review solely because many also consider it equipment for creating cellular network. This is a misconception! A repeater is just an external signal amplifier from the macro station, and its purpose is to broadcast the signal from the street inside the building. The repeater does not create additional network capacity, that is, if the donor base station is overloaded, you will not be able to use the phone inside the building because of overload either. Despite the apparent simplicity of the device and installation – the correct setting of the repeater requires specific skills and devices to control the coverage created. Moreover – according to the Russian law – only a firm that has appropriate licenses can own such equipment, as well as install and start it up. It is often impossible to use a repeater because it requires the installation of an external antenna on the facade of the building, which receives the signal from the macro base station.
There are variations of a wide variety of repeaters. Different power, performance and standards. The most widespread in the networks of operators have high-gain repeaters, standards GSM/UMTS. Used to organize communications in remote areas (for example with drops in altitude), as a temporary solution to the launch of a full-fledged base station of one of the types described above.

Who will beat whom: a Wi-Fi router or a femtocell?

So how is this Femto AP better than my native Wi-Fi router? The answer is very simple – they are completely different types of equipment! All of the base stations described above are designed to create a mobile network of GSM/UMTS, in these networks are available voice and packet services, which you can get by using a phone that supports GSM/UMTS. Familiar to us Wi-Fi-router is simply a wireless extension of the copper cable from your provider, and it can provide you only packet services, including Voice / Video over IP (for example Skype).
Anyone (or some people you are on the list) can enter the range of the femtocell with a 3G phone without Wi-Fi and get access directly to the operator’s network.
There are femtocells retrofitted with a Wi-Fi transmitter, so you can use both UMTS and Wi-Fi networks, using the same CPE, but do not forget – they are not competing, but complementary technologies.
Hopefully, the confusion has now been cleared up. If there’s anything else, ask in the comments, I’ll try to answer in detail.

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