Apple picks up second femtocell-related patent
Apple has been granted a further patent on Femtocell technology which is typically used in network base stations that use low-power cellular connections and are designed to be operated in homes and smaller businesses. This new patent, number 9,191,839, has been issued regarding methods of configuring Femtocells and it follows an August patent regarding access to wireless signals using the technology.
Three to five similar deals to follow miniature base station agreement
Qualcomm has signed an agreement with Alcatel-Lucent to work together on creating small base stations for phone networks. The deal, which involves Qualcomm gaining a five-percent stake in Alcatel-Lucent in exchange for around 100 million euro ($132.8 million) in research funding, could help turn around the telecom equipment manufacturer's troubling finances.
Shrunk 3G femtocell takes less room, passes power through
UK carrier Vodafone has released a second version of its Sure Signal box. The refreshed 3G-broadcasting femtocell compacts the internals from the router-sized original into a pass-through plug design, which not only takes up as much space as a plug-in air freshener, but also allows the power socket to be completely usable by other devices.
Aggressive pricing cited as helping boost numbers
Sprint has announced that its Airave femtocells have been distributed to more than 250,000 customers across the nation. The company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi, suggests the number is expected to climb to approximately 1 million over the next few years, according to comments made at the FierceWireless Path to 4G conference.
Sprint ships 3G Airave femtocells for free
Sprint has now begun shipping the Airave Access Point femtocell. The new version carries EVDO and can handle 3G data for homes and phones without Wi-Fi. They continue to provide CDMA for phone calls.
Verizon to ship femtocells
After an FCC leak back in October, it is all but confirmed that Verizon will soon bring a femtocell to market with the Wireless Network Extender, according to an Engadget report. Like Sprint's similar AIRAVE, the Wireless Network Extender can support up to three simultaneous calls and leaves a channel open for emergency calls. The device hooks up to the Internet to let Verizon subscribers make VoIP calls from their cellular CDMA-compatible handsets from up to 5,000 feet away.
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.