Dude, Where's My Femto?

3:45 PM -- Let's face it, I'm the perfect candidate for a femtocell.

My apartment has successfully seen off a whole bunch of phones and service providers over the years with its thick old walls that even provide an effective blanket of radio silence with some handsets (cough, Sidekick, cough).

I currently have a T-Mobile G1 and a Verizon BlackBerry Storm. I will grudgingly admit that they both perform better than some older phones, perhaps because there are fewer people on the 3G networks. Nonetheless, the service is still just edging into the barely tolerable zone.

All of which makes me the ideal candidate for a coverage-boosting mini-base-station in my home. Only trouble is, unless I swap to Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), I can't currently buy a damn femtocell anywhere. We're still waiting around for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless , or T-Mobile US Inc. to actually bring one out in the U.S.

Guess it is time to look into the [email protected] service or wait for 2009... 2010... whenever.

For one thing, I'm not convinced the big femto sell isn't just going to be a chimera for the forseeable future. I suspect that a $100 box that improves coverage in your home (I mean, shouldn't the carriers pay for that anyway?) is going to be a tougher sell in a sour economy. Why spend the bucks when you can just walk closer to the kitchen window?

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:25:59 PM
re: Dude, Where's My Femto?
Hook your G1 to your WiFi at your house right? You can't make phone calls using VoIP, but there is no need for any specific WiFi.

t_newt 12/5/2012 | 3:25:58 PM
re: Dude, Where's My Femto? There are cell phone extenders available for any phone. Quick search pops up zBoost and Spotwave (don't know anything about them other than searching).

The whole femtocell concept seems really strange to me anyway. Does it connect to your network? Does this mean you'd be using your DSL for your phone calls? I guess then you would not need any cell tower nearby at all. But does this mean your neighbors can make phone calls using your DSL lines? What happens when a whole apartment complex-full of people gets femtocells? How do they partition frequencies to keep from interfering with each other and with the nearby cell tower?
joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:25:58 PM
re: Dude, Where's My Femto? Yeah, in theory at least, I can't make it work and I'm loathe to read the maual. :-)
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