Verizon Checks Out Femtos

LAS VEGAS -- CTIA Wireless 2008 -- Verizon Wireless 's CTO Tony Melone says the No. 2 U.S. operator is examining using femtocells to bolster coverage with its CDMA networks and is "looking at" the mini-base station technology now.

Talking to Unstrung here at the show, Melone says the operator sees applications for the tiny cellular radios with its network infrastructure before the company starts deploying so-called fourth generation long-term evolution (LTE) technology late in 2009 and into 2010. Melone says that early LTE tech is "in lab trials."

Verizon is the second major CDMA operator in the U.S. to take femtocells, which are intended to improve voice quality and data download rates in the home, seriously as an infrastructure play. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has already started to sell the boxes to consumers in Denver, Indianapolis, and Nashville, Tenn.

To read more about the possible challenges and benefits of femtocells, see the original story on Unstrung.

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