What the heck is a Femtocell?

A femtocell is a mini cellular base station designed for use in a home or small business environment. It’s plugged into local power and a broadband connection, piggy-backing a local wireless signal over the internet to your carrier. Suddenly 3 or 4 mobile phones can function in an area where there was previously no signal.

‘Femto’ means one quadrillionth in the metric measurement system, hence the amazing and customer friendly terminology, aimed at breaking down barriers and making technology accessible to the public. Not.

The networks love the idea – They could produce hundreds of femtocells for the cost of planning and building a traditional base station – big savings in capital expenditure. And someone else pays for the power and local internet, saving operational costs. Finally they benefit from an increased public perception of coverage.

Vodafone UK already sell a femtocell as their Access Gateway, at £5 a month or £160 outright. Expect to see the other carriers follow suit, targeting family groups and small businesses. If our industry lives up to its green credentials, we should also also see convergent devices that combine secure fixed line, wireless broadband, femtocell and VoIP services, without the need to switch on a desktop PC.

Originally published at OneMobileRing.com