The long standing grumblings about AT&T’s substandard voice and data reception at homes could soon become a thing of the past, as the US-based mobile network operator has announced plans to roll out its 3G MicroCell across the country.
The MicroCell, which is the firm’s first femtocell, is a device intended for enhancing and voice and data reception at homes by creating minute 3G data and voice signals for the users’ personal use.
Available from the company’s website, the femtocell would act as a mini tower at homes, and thereby would eliminate network reception related problems in closed spaces and so called "not-zones".
The device connects to the users’ current broadband connection via an Ethernet cable, and subsequently beams out a cell signal having a range of around 40 feet or so, enough to cover apartments and large spaces.
This will presumably offer spruced up cell signal performance to the users, both in terms of voice receptions and other cellular applications, like messaging and mobile internet browsing, even at the places where AT&T’s network isn’t available at all, according to the company.
The network operator has roped in Cisco Systems for the nationwide rollout of the product sometime in mid April. The product is available with the price-tag of $150.
Femtocells are hit and miss as far as we can tell. We have had anecdotal evidence based on user comments that that it may work in certain conditions. The fact though is that you have to fork out a hefty amount, especially for something like Vodafone's sure signal and it only works for one network at a time.
(Christian Science Monitor)