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  (Source: EverythingUSB.com)
Personal femtocell for travelers to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress

The argument that technology is making our world smaller has been bandied around for years. Thanks to the femtocell company Ubiquisys, proponents of that statement now have even more firepower. The British company has developed the world's first base station for international travelers, allowing them to make mobile phone calls without the added international roaming rates.

In a press release, Ubiquisys calls it an attocell -- a personal femtocell -- that was developed specifically for the iPhone, but works with any 3G-enabled device. It's been tested on BlackBerry, Nokia, and Android smartphones.

Here's how the attocell works: The device, slightly larger than a smartphone itself, connects to an internet-enabled laptop or PC via USB cable. It analyzes the IP and radio environment to determine what country it is in, and then sets its 3G radio power to just below the licensed level. It continuously monitors the radio environment to ensure that there is no impact on the mobile network.

There is one downside, though. In some countries, the attocell's range will only be about 5mm. A smartphone would have to be laid directly on top of the attocell -- it connects automatically, like a femtocell -- and the user would have to either use a Bluetooth or wired headset, or speakerphone to make calls. But it sure beats paying upwards of $2 per minute to make the same call otherwise. And the range limit will not exist in other countries, where it could broadcast to cover an entire room.

According to Reuters, Ubiquisys already has the backing of Google, as well as Accel Partners, Advent Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, T-Mobile's venture fund, SerComm Corp., and UMC Capital Corporation. Despite slow adoption, industry analysts predict the market for femtocells to top $1 billion in the next few years.

Ubiquisys is set to showcase the attocell in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.



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*yawn*
By Warwulf on 1/26/2011 11:27:26 AM , Rating: 3
Okay, so it can put out a signal on the frequency. But how will it interface with carriers subscriber information to allow it to connect and bill the customer normal minutes as opposed to roaming rates?

T-mobile has had UMA for years that works over practically any wifi network. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint has had femtocells for a year now. This is all technology we have now and is OLD NEWS. The only thing new would be if wireless companies gave up a big cash cow, such as roaming charges, and allowed these devices to run on their network.

In the meanwhile, just call forward to a magic jack and take that with you where you go. You can even connect a wireless handset so you're not limited to 5mm.

Fail product is fail.




RE: *yawn*
By DanNeely on 1/26/2011 3:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Okay, so it can put out a signal on the frequency. But how will it interface with carriers subscriber information to allow it to connect and bill the customer normal minutes as opposed to roaming rates?


The same way a conventional femtocell authenticates to the provider over the internet to let you talk on their network in areas where they don't have coverage.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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