As femtocells slowly start to make headway in a few selected markets, one of the leading developers, Ubiquisys, has unveiled a new design focused on providing single-user coverage.
Labelled the "attocell," the portable device enables travelling subscribers to make and receive mobile calls as though in their home country. The 3G attocell requires a USB connection to a laptop--which provides power and Internet access--before routing calls from the users' handsets through to their home network.
The personal femto is claimed to be capable of automatically analysing the IP address and radio environment to determine which country it is in, and then sets its 3G transmit power accordingly to below the licenced level. This automatic power monitoring means that the attocell could, depending upon the country, have a range as little as 5mm, or could cover a whole room.
The company said that the attocell has been specifically developed for use with the iPhone, although it will work with any 3G handset and has already been tested with BlackBerry, Nokia and Android smartphones.
While Ubiquisys said it was in discussions with a range of as-yet unnamed mobile operators, CEO Chris Gilbert said to IB Times: "The attocell innovation is a direct response to meet a specific requirement from mobile operators."
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