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AT&T Inks Femtocell Deal, Sets Trial for Later This Year

Article Comments  45  

Apr 24, 2008, 1:39 PM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Apr 24, 2008, 10:40 PM

AT&T Mobility has signed a deal with U.K.-based ip.access Ltd., which will provide it with up to 7 million femtocells that AT&T hopes to sell to its customers. The deal is worth a reported $500 million, and could allow AT&T to sell the femotcells for as little as $100 each. Femtocells provide indoor areas, such as homes or businesses, with better cellular signal coverage. They act similar to Wi-Fi hotspots, and transmit calls or data sessions through a user's broadband internet connection, rather than via the operator's network. An AT&T spokesperson said the company will trial the technology later this year.

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Apr 24, 2008, 2:22 PM

This is...

A great idea! Repeaters aren't cheap! 100 bucks is worth it if they can support more than one session at a time...
Ever hear of Airave?

Sprint tried it, people didn't like paying to have better coverage, they say the network should have done that. With the unlimited plans out there it's just not cost-effective for people to use these things anymore. They may s...

Apr 26, 2008, 11:02 AM

They need something

If this helps their horrible coverage in my area then great.. but I have a better idea: BUILD SOME NEW FRIGGIN TOWERS.

I cant wait till I am out of contract so I can go to another carrier. Preferably one with faster internet. AT&T's data is slow as molasses.

Apr 24, 2008, 5:07 PM

This is...Not a Good Idea

If ATT wants to buy a product that will cause interference with it's network, then fine. "More bars in more places" doesn't mean that you are not going to have problems. Even if you are told that it shouldn't interfere with your cellsites. Before I buy anything like this, and I suggest more people look into it too, I will be doing a lot of research. Let the early adopters of the technology go out and get it, and realize it is not that great. Oh... by the way, it supports 2-5 phones. How will you determine which 2-5 phones can use your femotcell? If it's like WiFi, you'll have to lock it down and secure it before everyone in your neighborhood reaps the benefits of your $100+ investment.
I think a lot of those "issues" were solved by sprint trying out the airaves.

They are way different than the wifi thing t-mobile did. It worked with every CDMA sprint phone, and the one AT&T is looking at should work with the majority (if not all...
$100 is hardly an "investment." You'd spend nearly that much fueling a car nowadays.
getnthe411 said:
If ATT wants to buy a product that will cause interference with it's network, then fine...... If it's like WiFi, you'll have to lock it down and secure it before everyone in your neighborhood reaps the benefits of

Apr 25, 2008, 6:02 PM

I liked it better the first time.....

When it was called T-Mobile Hotspot at Home. 😲

Come on ATT get your weight up!

Apr 25, 2008, 10:34 AM


Is it possible that these things beam 3G signals? If so that's a whole new story!
I would hope so...

The only way I'd purchase a femtocell is if...

a) It gave me unlimited calling on my cell (similar to T-Mobile's UMA)
b) Was portable (i.e. I could take it into Canada and still use it on my Internet... saving $$$ like UMA)
If you take the time to visit the web site of the company refered to in the story you'll see that 3G is fully supported. The "system" has more than one part. The femtocells sit near the customer and connect to what ammounts to a big base controller on...

Apr 25, 2008, 1:34 PM

This is great for people living in the boonies

I could see ATT signing up those people for internet/femtocell/wireless service.

pay about $100 a month and have great service at home and okay coverage everywhere else.

Say goodbye to the home phone, this doesnt make as much sense for ATT who has the largest network of home phone service subscribers.

But i guess as the technology progresses, they will be able to compete with vonage and t-mobile at home or skype.

It sounds like a blockbuster deal for ATT.

anyone see any cons?
Its definately a win for those that live where coverage is barely usable (either that or a repeater).

I would cut my landline today IF I could use one of these and have unlimited calling while at home.

I know T-Mobile offers it with UMA WiFi, wh...
T Mobster

Apr 24, 2008, 5:06 PM

Do something original ATT....

They're just trying to copy T-Mobile. At least when we sell you the Linksys or Dlink router for $50 you get it back in a mail in rebate. Plus you can make unlimited calls through T-Mobile Talk Forever. Not just at home either.
You really are comparing apples and oranges.
Whadda' ya mean "Do something original?" Now the fanboy tendencies rear themselves. This is a different product altogether than what T-Mo is selling. True, it still connects to the users broadband internet connection. The major difference is that y...

Apr 24, 2008, 3:30 PM

Extended Network Coverage

This is great. This would greatly improve network coverage. Here is how it will improve network coverage. The more calls a cell site takes to transmit a call the more coverage is lost, especially during peak demand time. This is why in large cities there is overlapping coverage so that the network can withstand the demand.

That being said if calls are being transfered to the Femtocell then the coverage increases. The same with data speeds are faster when out and about.

I see these going to be used in larger cities and less in the rural areas.

It actually benefits both, in cities it reduces network load, and increases overall call capacity.

In rural areas, where cell sites are few and far between, it allows the customer to get almost perfect signal in their home and not worry about whet...
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