Ubiquisys will sell its new G3-mini femtocell home base station to carriers for under $100, the Google-backed company said today, a move that might allow some operators to give them away to their customers as a cheaper retention strategy than building more cell towers. Femtocells, which are designed to boost indoor cell phone coverage, could also help carriers ease traffic jams on their networks.
Femtocell technology might have an easier time reaching a mass market once the small home base stations are deployed within Long-Term Evolution-based 4G networks, said a T-Mobile International executive whose company has expressed plans to begin limited commercial service in Germany this year. In another development, Motorola said it would concentrate on using CDMA, WiMAX and LTE technology and put UMTS-based femtocells on the back burner.
Israeli chip maker Percello has received backing from T-Mobile Venture Fund for its 3G and Long-Term Evolution femtocell development as part of a $12 million Series B financing for the year-old venture. The move marks the second time T-Mobile has backed a femtocell company.
Vodafone Group has begun testing 3G femtocell technology, working with equipment makers Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent to determine the viability of the home base stations. The companies said they wanted to assess the femtocells' effectiveness in delivering wireless high-speed data and voice services inside homes and offices.