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Small cells

Cisco Claims AT&T Femto as Its Own

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has finally posted details showing that it is behind the AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) MicroCell product, nearly two years after Light Reading Mobile reported that it was working on a femtocell for the operator.

Cisco recently put up a Web page detailing its work with AT&T on MicroCell. The operator has been using the units in customer trials since September 2009, recently adding Las Vegas as a new market. (See AT&T Takes MicroCells to Vegas.)

As Andy Tiller over at 3G in The Home notes, the AT&T-Cisco tie-up must be "the worst kept secret in the femtocell industry." LR Mobile first reported in May 2008 that Cisco was using ip.access Ltd. technology to develop a femtocell for AT&T. (See Cisco, ip.access Prep Femto Combo and Cisco Femto Spotted at AT&T.)

AT&T hasn't confirmed a launch date for the home base stations yet, but a source recently told us that a second-quarter launch is looking possible. The carrier's trials are also likely to extend to Los Angeles and San Francisco soon. (See MWC Rumor: AT&T Eyes Q2 Femto Launch, Enterprise Suppliers.)

Such a timetable could very well make AT&T the first major US operator to launch 3G femtocells. Neither Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) nor Verizon Wireless have announced customer trials for the voice and data coverage improvement technology yet.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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