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Sprint & Verizon All Quiet on 3G Femto Front

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
9/29/2009

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and Verizon Wireless aren't talking much about their 3G femtocell plans now that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has made the data-capable home cellular technology commercially available in two U.S. markets.

Sprint had expressed confidence in the past that it would be first to launch 3G femtocells:

"Just like Sprint was the first with 2G, we'll definitely be the first in the 3G space as well," Mathew Oommen, VP of device and technology development, told Unstrung back in June. "We're not talking about trials; we're talking about full commercial service."

Sprint has already signed a femtocell supply deal with Airvana Inc. . The operator could potentially make good on its promise, since AT&T is currently only doing limited commercial launches. If it has something in the works, however, Sprint isn't saying. (See Airvana Wins Major Sprint Femto Deal.)

"We haven't announced anything on this," a Sprint spokeswoman says.

Verizon has yet to tip its hand on 3G femto plans. The carrier launched its first CDMA home base station in January. (See Verizon Intros Femtocell.)

Unstrung double-checked with Verizon Wireless to see if the situation has changed at all. A spokesman tells us the operator is saying "nothing on femtocell 3G" yet.

AT&T, meanwhile, has launched its 3G box, called MicroCell, in two North Carolina markets: Charlotte and Raleigh. Atlanta and other markets in Georgia could follow. (See Meet the AT&T MicroCell.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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