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Verizon will bring femtocells to market in 2009 that work with any Verizon handsets

Many cell phone users find that indoor coverage can be spotty at best. Dead spots inside homes or offices make it hard to get a signal and talk without interference or dropped calls. This is especially problematic for users who only use cell phones.

One way to improve cellular coverage indoors is by using a device that resembles your typical wireless router, known as a femtocell. Verizon Wireless has announced that it will be selling its first femtocell early next year. Verizon had previously said that it would launch femtocells this year, what led to the delay is unknown.

Verizon isn’t the only cellular provider that is offering femtocells. Both Sprint and T-Mobile offer femtocells to customers. The femtocell connects the cellular phone of a user to the broadband internet connection in a home or office to route calls over the internet.

Like any other VOIP service, call quality is likely to be affected by the available bandwidth on the network at the time. Sprint's femtocell is far from the bargain users will hope for at $99.99 for the hardware and an additional $10 to $20 per month for the privilege of using the femtocell.

T-Mobile also offers a femtocell-like service from called HotSpot@Home and requires a special handset to use whereas the Sprint and coming Verizon femtocells will work with any handset. Verizon is still mum on how much its femtocell will cost and what fees the femtocell will carry monthly. Pricing is likely to be in line with what Sprint charges for its femtocell service.

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By jrdwyer on 10/29/2008 4:44:21 PM , Rating: 3
For those who are not aware, there are many people in this country who have poor cell coverage/quality in their homes, regardless of carrier. We are in this situation. I did not want to drop the land-line because it is far superior in voice quality and integrity to any cell connection. Looking to cut costs, I was curious about T-Mobile's offer of free hotspot@home cell phones with plan and the free Linksys wireless router (after rebate). So my wife signed up and got the Samsung T-409 phone. We set up the router and, low and behold, it works! Call quality in our home over the wireless router is almost as good as a landline and much better than a standard cell connection and no dropped calls! So my son and I joined in on a family plan and we both got the Samsung T-339 phones for free and they also work. The hotspot@home service is $10/month, the family plan for three is $80/month, and our separate 1-2Mbps cable broadband is $30/month. Two AT&T landlines costing $50/month are history. The only negative thing I have heard about the service is that if you have moderate to good cell reception in your home, the phone may try and switch over form router to cell and the call can be dropped. This doesn't happen with us because the cell reception in our home is so poor. For those who want the convenience of a cell phone and land-line quality at home, this is a step in the right direction!

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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