Femtos on Androids

9:50 AM -- Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)-backed femtocell startup Ubiquisys Ltd. has teamed with mobile device software specialist Intrinsyc Software International Inc. (Toronto: ICS) to develop a nifty presence application for Android-based handsets. (See Ubiquisys, Intrinsyc Do Femto App.)

The app, called UX-Zone, makes the screen on an Android handset change its appearance when a user comes into range of his or her femtocell at home or in the office. And the phone won't just look different -- it will have different icons as well when it detects that it's in the femto's coverage area. For example, at home, new icons would appear on the phone for services like video streaming, home network intergration, or social networking.

When users enter a so-called "femto zone" their handset is supposed to automatically detect the home base station and make calls through it rather than the macro network. This new UX-Zone app shows the potential operators have to use that presence information to create new services for femtocells. In this case, the app indicates not only what network users are on, but what services are available to them on that network.

It's an interesting concept. But beyond better indoor coverage, how much will people be willing to pay for such additional femto services?

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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