T-Mobile Ventures, the investment arm of the network operator, has announced a strategic investment in Ubiquisys, the femtocell manufacturer that already counts Google among its backers. Neither company is saying how much is being invested, but they are saying "strategic" rather than "significant", and as Ubiquisys raised $25m …
Data really a selling point?
I can't help but think that if someone was that bothered about getting free data at home they would just go out and get a phone with Wi-Fi like the iPhone or a Nokia N Series (some of which are offered as free upgrades by Vodafone etc.)
The only people likely to be interested in Femtocells for the home are those out in the sticks where coverage is rubbish.
@ chris wood
can't agree more, besides, if I'm at home, why would I be viewing the Internet on a phone that doesn't have wifi, when I have a PC?
I use an N95, which is great when I'm out and about, but I wouldn't use it at home. For that I use either an N800 or my laptop. And if I want serious browsing out and about the N800 comes along!
@Chad and Chris
I think this will be aimed at the X% of people who's most powerful computer in the home is their mobile. They don't really understand PC's the only thing they download are ringtones so (even) cheaper texting/calls at home plus as the article stated getting these customer hooked on playing bejewelled on their phone or whatever is the win for the telco.
I'd love 3G here
... ideally as a backup for ADSL so when the DSL dies I'll still be able to work from home over the 3G. Nearest 3G coverage is 35 miles away - and projection for the next 6 months is that it will remain 35 miles away.
My existing mobile phone already is a VOIP endpoint so don't need that either for cheap calls.
Sadly a femtocell doesn't allow for that diversity because it relies on the ADSL backhaul - so I'm not interested in that either. Looks like I'll have to keep on with my plan to go to the pub in the next village with it's free wifi for my business continuity location.
Probably works for someone though - with more money than sense.
Two nations etc.
@AC: I can't speak for the UK, but here in the US it's the very opposite.
One significant target market here is middle-class, tech-savvy folks like me who moved our families to the "exburbs" only to discover that mobile coverage is patchy and broadband depends on the genius of our little local fixed wireless provider. I just replaced one of our landlines with Vonage and would add a femtocell in a heartbeat so that I don't lose calls on the way into the house.
Oh, and the most powerful computer in *my* home is the 3Ghz, memory-maxed dual-core, twin-monitor beastie with 2TB of disk that my wife uses for photoshop work. I don't know about downloads, but about once a week she FTPs 500MB print-ready files to California.
Ubiquitous mobile coverage?
No way - not out here in rural England. Femtocells make perfect sense to turn no coverage an sub-1Mbit broadband into a usable alternative to Skype.
Currently in the US...
...TMobile is supplying one of these units as part of an add-on package to standard cell service. The way it works is that when you're at home your cell calls get routed as VoIP and don't use cell minutes. A call once started on VoIP is charged at this rate even if you leave your base station for the great out doors (but conversely if you are on a cell call and you reach home and the phone switches to your home unit you're still charged as if its a cell call).
Its convenient for two reasons. One is that it allows you to use your cellphone as a landline at home -- no need for any other type of phone. The other is that cell signals in some tracts are a bit weak -- the US is a big place, and operators can't afford to put a tower in every back yard (even if the residents would allow it).
I think its $20 a month extra. They've been doing this locally for about a year.
Couple of points to note here.
1. 3G coverage, despite improving will be a long time before it matches the inbuilding coverage of 2G due to the higher frequency. Femto cells are all about using one device for all services which to me is convenient. They are probably going to come in at about £150, well worth the money to me.
2. T-Mobile UK don't have a ADSL service so would always choose to use another operators service to provide a femto cell. Why wouldn't they, after all they get a free coverage uplift albeit in a limited area with no backhaul costs.
3. The statement about no UK operator using 2G femto cells in incorrect, several Uk Operators deploy them in key customer sites and homes.
Only for those out in the sticks, eh? WRONG!
I'm in the middle of my town, yet I have crap mobile signal. It hovers around the 1-block level on a Nokia, which makes for frustrating phonecalls to takeout places and the like.
I guess you're used to concrete and brick housing that is a Swiss cheese for mobile signals, not solid sand- and limestone structures that pretty much shield you from any signal whatsoever.
A femto cell would come in really handy to improve my signal, but the company that makes the Oyster femtocell says it is not available for purchase by private individuals as they require an OFCOM license.
for get femtocell
as much as technology is beneficial . its lifespan is short . because of a new technology
that I am involved in . its been in development for six years , and there are ready on fifth chip
and very shortly their sixth. the technology is using the 802 protocol but as far as the
extensions that information in this time is not available. but what I can to you
is that the technology will allow a 1.5MB up and down no degradation that can penetrate
heavy foliage,and 20 ft. underground,the signal can travel from one tower over flatlands
138 mi. omnidirectional and heavy mountain trains . it can reach 32 mi.
the cost is so cheap to manufacture that the retail price for the 1.5MB will be under $20 a month the long-term contracts no sign of fees free hardware.
the products are labeled by using the word T-1 T-2 T-3
the T-3 will only be $80 a month.
Is this device by any chance a small silver clamshell, with an active flip, voice activated with the words "Kirk to Enterprise!"
So this is a high bandwidth, low frequency device, where no-one has any IPR or freely licenses it, or is it actually WiMAX, the "Air Jordan of air interfaces" eh, that propagates like no other TDD signal can?
Sounds like you need to remember that "Ye cannae change the laws of Physics"