- About MacNews
- Category Reviews
- Tech Support
- Connect Tools
Of course, one answer might be a femtocell. AT&T is working on this technology that could, potentially alleviate the dead zone problem for myself and others. 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.
However, price and availability haven't yet been set for the femtocell appliance, which AT&T calls the 3G MicroCell. In the US, both Sprint and Verizon Wireless have already begun selling femtocells that provide a local extension voice and data service, with Sprint charging $99 for its Samsung-built Airave box (first introduced in limited testing in the third quarter of 2007, and nationwide last October) and then charging a $4.99 monthly fee. Verizon charges $249 for its box, but doesn't charge any additional monthly fees. Of course, the last thing I need is ANOTHER fee atop the AT&T/iPhone pricey data plan.
As for smartphones overall, In-Stat says that smartphone growth this year will be strong globally, but even stronger in the US market.
â€œStrong demand is being driven by device manufacturers leveraging open OS device to re-invent the mobile phone experience,â€ says Frank Dickson, vice president, Mobile Internet Group. â€œNew and prospective smartphone buyers are drawn to new mobile applications, even though the median number of applications downloaded for all platforms, including the Apple iPhone, is relatively modestâ€”below five applications per user for each platform.â€
Recent research by In-Stat found the following (although I'm highly dubious of the third point):
Â° Smartphone security is still inadequate and is likely to be a source of problems for users and their employers, based on In-Statâ€™s consumer survey results.
Â° Almost one-third of survey respondents plan to obtain a smartphone the next time they upgrade their current phone.
Â° Smartphones with Linux OS (including Android) will see the highest growth and the second highest volume behind Symbian. Linux OS will outpace Windows Mobile, RIM and the iPhone operating system.