Optus pips VHA with consumer femtocells

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Optus pips VHA with consumer femtocells

Pilot project.

Optus has revealed a limited consumer pilot project of femtocell devices made by Alcatel-Lucent, pipping rival Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) to market.

The devices will be available from 13 retail Optus stores across Sydney, Wollongong, Brisbane, and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

A spokesman told iTnews that although the availability of the devices was limited to the pilot areas, they would work anywhere within Optus’ coverage zones.

Optus also said that “select” business customers would be invited to join a separate pilot; however, the spokesman was unable to shed further light on that aspect of the pilot program.

Vodafone Australia said in October last year that its trials of femtocell technology were already underway.

The company planned to roll out femtocells under the ‘Expand’ brand name to consumers at some time in 2011.

“Vodafone has already commenced discussions with existing medium enterprise and large corporate customers for the deployment of femtocell technology,” a spokesman said.

“Vodafone is working directly with its business customers to provide the most appropriate in-building solution, tailored to specific business requirements.”

Alcatel-Lucent last week announced it was supplying femtocell devices to Vodafone New Zealand. Those devices were being rebranded ‘Sure Signal’.

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