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AT&T to sell femtocells, aid indoor calls

updated 03:40 pm EDT, Thu April 24, 2008

AT&T Femto Cells

AT&T will be the next in the US to offer femtocells as its solution to customers who want indoor calling, says a report from financial analysts at ThinkPanmure. The US carrier is believed to have tapped Britain-based ip.access for a five-year contract purchase of the portable routers worth a total of $500 million. As with other femtocells, the AT&T models would fill in coverage in homes and other areas where cellular signals often encounter interference, creating a small wireless base station for a home that in turn connects to the larger cellular network.

Which models will be used and their exact costs are unknown, though ip.access makes routers capable of handling 3G data as well as calls and at least some of the femtocells on offer will sell for as little as $100. ThinkPanmure provides no direct indication of when the femtocells will appear, but observes that GSM carriers should start using the equipment sometime next year.

The news would make AT&T the second US carrier to offer femtocells, the first being Sprint. The smaller opponent to AT&T began using Samsung Airave cells late last year and is gradually rolling out the option to other areas. Sprint partly subsidizes the price of the hardware in exchange for a subscription, but lets customers make unlimited calls whenever in range of the access point.

by MacNN Staff



  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    why speculate? well...

    Sometimes, these rumors can be helpful to someone thinking about buying a new machine. Were this to happen, people would usually want to wait (if they could) to see if they could get more proc bang for their buck.

    Myself, I really wish I could have waited another 4 months and I would have ridden the new Intel switch and be able to run Parallels. Instead I have the fastest mobile G4 they made. Instead, there's only an ancient version of VPC available that even bogs down running AutoCAD.

    Yes, this one is a possible minor upgrade, but rumors, esp. in the realms of purchasing and Apple announcements, can help YOU as a consumer/professional.

  1. DCineGuy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can't be true

    If the product is ready, RIM is not going to give up 2 months worth of sales.

    Further, you can mark the day that the iPhone will be in stores not from the above speculation, but from the date that it goes into FCC testing. One presumes that this date is not a secret, and one presumes that this has not happened. So, if it is going to be June, we better here of the FCC testing pretty soon...

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