Software-defined radio (SDR) technology provider Vanu this week announced it has demonstrated a 700 MHz Femtocell prototype developed with transceiver chipmaker BitWave and has deployed the first commercial wireless network to operate using both CDMA and GSM standards on a single system.

Typically used to improve wireless coverage inside a residence with backhaul provided via a wired broadband solution like DSL or cable modem, Femtocells are becoming increasingly popular among wireless carriers, said Vanu CEO Vanu Bose.

“First, you’re providing coverage at home, where they [customers] didn’t have it before,” Bose said during an interview with MRT. “The secondary benefit is huge. When they’re talking on the Femto, that traffic is off your macro network. The long-term benefit [for the carrier] is that they’ll have to invest less capex in their macro network if they run Femtocells.”

Demonstrated before two potential clients—including a carrier—the Vanu/BitWave prototype supports cellular waveforms in the 700, 850, 1800 and 1900 MHz bands for both CDMA and GSM operation. The prototype uses BitWave’s Softransceiver chips, which can receive and transmit a wide range of RF signals, and Vanu’s Anywave software to allow a single Femtocell unit to be built that can provide coverage in numerous deployment scenarios.

Bose said the timing of the demonstration was important, as many U.S. carriers with embedded infrastructure contemplate potential bids for 700 MHz spectrum early next year and would like to leverage both the new and existing spectrum assets.

“For us, this was a good example of how the flexibility of our technology can lead to rapid development,” Bose said. “We took our CDMA waveform, and we were able to move it—using a different RF head end—to 700 MHz very rapidly and with very little changes. It’s basically the same software we have running in cellular systems today.”

One operator using Vanu’s cellular solution is Mid-Tex Cellular, a rural wireless carrier that announced the launch of industry first commercial network to use both the CDMA and GSM standards on the same system.

“Because it’s all in software, it’s very easy for us to run multiple standards simultaneously,” Bose said. “So, for example, a rural operator now can run GSM and CDMA and double his sources roaming revenue from the GSM and CDMA operators. We also see a lot opportunities for that in India and Latin America, where there are a lot of operators that run both GSM and CDMA.”