When Sprint and Verizon released their femtocells to extend cellphone reception in homes they had one problem. They only worked well for voice and supported the original 1xRTT CDMA network which is SUPER slow for data. We heard from Verizon that they were supposed to release a EVDO femtocell earlier this year but it never materialized.
Stephen Lawson over at CIO got confirmation that Sprint has quietly been rolling out femtocells that support the much faster 3G EVDO data rates for the past two weeks. The new device is called the Airave Access Point and supports EVDO rev A which can download at up to 1.4mbps compared to 1xRTT which maxes out at about 150kbps.
The odd thing is that Sprint has confirmed that they have not made the Airave publically available and they are not giving it to all sub subscribers. According to Lawson Sprint has confirmed that they are only providing the devices on a case by case basis where they evaluate the customers needs and deciding the pricing and monthly fees on a case by case basis. Talk about weird…
Hopefully Sprint will make the EVDO capable Airave available to all soon. Verizon also went on record saying that it will offer an EVDO femtocell “in the coming months.”