Honey, I Shrunk the Femto
It's described as a personal femtocell. It has been designed for the iPhone, but it works with any 3G device and has been tested with RIM-, Nokia- and Android-based smart phones. (See Ubiquisys Gives iPhone a Personal Femtocell.)
But first, a little history: The term attocell cropped up back in 2008 in an April 1 post on the "3G in the Home" blog site. But the Ubiquisys product is no joke.
Basically, when people travel internationally the device lets mobile calls be made and received as if the users were in their home country. So it provides another way to get around having to pay high international roaming charges.
The attocell connects to a laptop via USB, which supplies power and an Internet connection. The device adjusts its radio transmit power to be just below the licensed level depending on what country it finds itself. That means the range of the device will vary. In some places it could be just 5 mm while in other locations it could be an entire room.
It's certainly a new twist on femtocells. Ubiquisys says the product was designed for a specific operator, which it could not name, and that it is talking to several operators about the product. But it's questionable how happy operators are going to be about such devices being used by international roamers on their networks.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile