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Hmmm. Could femtocells be the answer to my (lack of iPhone) problems? I currently don't own an iPhone because of the crappy AT&T wireless reception at my house.
However, folks like me will soon be able to fix that for US$150, reports the Associated Press (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/No-bars-at-home-ATampT-to-apf-178848912.ht...). AT&T said Wednesday that it's rolling out femtocells that, when connected to the home's broadband modem, will pick up signals from the cell phones in the home and relay them through the Internet connection. In essence, they're small cell towers for the home.
Dallas-based AT&T is introducing the 3G MicroCell in mid-April in some markets, which haven't been announced, notes the "AP." The rest of the country will follow over the next several months.
A femtocell is a small cellular base station. The small boxes beam low-power wireless signals to cell phones and relay signals back to the carrier through the subscriber's high-speed Internet connection. The femtocell incorporates the functionality of a typical base station but extends it to allow a simpler, self contained deployment. Basically, they''re miniature cellular towers for the home.
By 2012, there will be more than 150 million users of femtocell products on 70 million access points worldwide, according to ABI Research. By letting users bypass wireless towers when making a call, femtocells can purportedly boost a wireless network's capacity by up to 1,500 times.