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back to article Femtocells know you're home again - but so what?

Intrinsyc has been demonstrating a handset app that changes the user's interface when they get home, though no one is mentioning the most obvious application. Intrinsyc demonstrated its application, UX-Zone, along with Airvane, ip.access and Ubiquisys to prove cross-manufacturer compatibility. The app runs on Windows Phone or …

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Maybe we should bill the carriers...

...for calls made through our femtocells.

In my original wireless network, ca. 1996, customers agreed to allow "public" traffic over their local equipment.

The competition mounted legal challenges, but our local government sided with this sharing.

At the time, MIMO 802.11n did not exist. Today, a user-owned high speed network becomes quite possible. In spite of the tiny slices of spectrum available, self forming mesh networks are the future.

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How about changing ring volume?

I turn my ringer off when I arrive at the office, on high inthe car, and on low at home. It seems to me if the phone could tell when I'm at home (and when I'm in the car/office), then it could take care of that for me. I might also want it to disable my web browsing while in the office...mmm...maybe not...

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Free calls already available on US femtos

Operators including AT&T and Sprint are offering free calls on their femtocells as an option already. They have existing ways to show the end user that the phone is using the femtocell (and therefore the call qualifies for the cheap / free rate), but the UX-Zone app would do this nicely as well (there - admitted it! :-).

Andy Tiller, ip.access (one of the companies involved in UX-Zone).

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Gold badge

In US...

In the US, T-Mobile has a few phones that can route calls over wifi. This does not use minutes, OR special hardware other than the phone. Sprint has a (CDMA) femotcell which you can pay a monthly fee for (like $10 or so a line) and call on it for free. I think you can not pay the fee and have calls and data bill like normal too. Verizon has a (CDMA) femtocell, it also is just bills minutes and data as usual. AT&T doesn't have it together, last I heard they had STILL not launched a femtocell, but it's going to be UMTS-only when it is launched (no GSM support.)

[QUOTE]In spite of the tiny slices of spectrum available, self forming mesh networks are the future.[/QUOTE]

They've been saying that for a LOOOONG time. With the limited range available, I think something like an 802.11 mesh can be useful but it's a limited replacement for other technologies (despite the objections I list I do plan to look into 802.11s -- the recently ratified mesh standard -- sooner rather than later) -- 1) Anything resembling a "backbone" from one end of the mesh to the other will have very heavy traffic, if this traffic goes via mesh there'll be the low battery life (of devices constantly forwarding packets) and overloading that'd imply. Fine for SMS perhaps but voice and data, perhaps not. 2) The mesh will extend a certain distance, then the next users will be too far away to be able to join and extend the mesh. 3) The mesh does have to connect to something eventually, telephone network or internet, if it's going to be more than just a island of coverage that can only talk to each other. So someone will have to have like an asterix box or ISP account that doesn't object to tons of traffic constantly running over it.

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Headmaster

Been thinking of this for a long time....

What I want is a cell phone that is also cordless DECT handset (with Blue-tooth (of course)). When home the handset connects to the DECT base-station and rings when calls arrive either via the cellular or landline service, but all outgoing calls would be via the DECT base-station and the land-line. Leave the vicinity and the handset would start to use the cellular service for all outgoing calls while all incoming calls to the landline would get an answering machine.

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Joke

"the most obvious application"

Point taken about cheaper calls and all that, but I for one would love a phone that blocks calls from the girlfriend while I'm at home with the wife.

(cowardly note to Moderatrix: just kidding)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Been thinking of this for a long time....

An earlier incarnation of a dual mode GSM/DECT service was trialed (and failed) back in 1999 by BT and Cellnet. Called "OnePhone" it basically achieved what you wanted... However, it experienced a few technical issues, such as being able to "nicely" handover between the PSTN and mobile networks and vice versa. Nice idea though.

It's been over 4 years since the first commercial implementations of UMA (and in recent times, pico/femto-cells). I saw prototypes (and worked on some of the service designs) of doing 'different stuff' when the phone is at 'home' - can't believe it's taken this long to do so little...

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Re: Been thinking of this for a long time....

It's called UMA. When at home it routes calls over VoIP over WiFi, and when out of range of your WiFi it uses cell phone newtork. Orange market it as Unik phone, not sure how many of the other operators offer it.

The one downside is you need an UMA capable phone, and there aren't that many around.

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The obvious interim solution.......

The obvious interim solutions is to buy wifi capable handsets and use VOIP when on your home network......

I can VOIP anywhere in the world via my mobile from home- for less than the best local rate package my mobile phone service supplier can offer me.......

Why the hell should I pay EUR100 for a femtocell, and then pay to use it too, twice????? I mean- its a unique business model- if you allow me to give you money, I'll pay someone else to enable me to give you money.........

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