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Small cells

CTIA 2010: AT&T Femtos Go Commercial in April

LAS VEGAS -- International CTIA WIRELESS 2010 -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is finally going to start deploying its MicroCell home basestation in markets across the country this April following months of 3G femtocell testing.

The operator is the first major wireless carrier in the US to offer a 3G unit that boosts both voice coverage and data speeds in a user's home. AT&T says it will begin its national rollout in mid-April, "with new markets activating in cities across the continental US for the next several months."

The operator has been testing the MicroCell since September in markets like Georgia. It ramped up recently with test launches in Las Vegas and other markets. (See Look for AT&T's Femto 'Soft Launch' Soon.)

AT&T is selling the MicroCell for $149.99 outright. The operator is also selling a companion rate plan for the MicroCell -- $19.99 a month enables subscribers to make unlimited calls through the femto. If people buy the supplementary plan, AT&T will give a $100 mail-in discount on the femtocell unit.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) built the 3G femtocell for AT&T. The operator is now rumored to be mulling a larger femtocell for enterprise customers.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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