“Similar in concept to the Wi-Fi routers that many people use to blanket their homes with wireless Internet access, these little boxes instead provide a network for carrying the voice and high-speed data services of mobile phones. They’re designed to give bandwidth-hungry cell-phone subscribers the strongest possible connections at home.” (link)
The idea is attractive and I’d buy one in a minute. I live in a hilly area where the hills do a good job of blocking all kinds of signals — cell phone, TV, and radio. So my mobile phone is almost useless at home, even though I’m in the middle of the Baltimore-DC metropolis.
Femtocell technology has its own industrial organization, the femtoforum, a “a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 2007 to promote femtocell deployment worldwide.”
Here’s a part of the TR article that excites me:
“Today, the equipment cost for femtocells runs in the range of $250 to $300. Sprint, one of the first companies to start commercial trials of the products, is offering them to consumers in Denver and Indianapolis for $50 apiece, along with an offer of lower-priced calling plans–altogether a substantial subsidy.”
Sprint’s press release descibes it’s AIRAVE femtocell, made by Samsung, and their pricing plan: $50 for the femtocell plus $15/$30 a month for the service (individual/family). While at home you talk for free.