At first that may seem like a huge deal but there are currently around 256,000 cellular towers in the US compared to femtocells which now number at about 350,000. These femtocells are called different things by each carrier with Verizon going with Network Extender, AT&T choosing MicroCell, and Sprint with its Airave. The one thing these all have in common is that customers are dishing out $150+ to install and use a mini cellphone tower in your house which uses your broadband internet and your electricity bill to provide you service the carrier was supposed to offer in the first place. I simply feel like we have this equation wrong. Carriers should be paying us to install these devices!
Either way I don’t see femtocells slowing down anytime soon. Carriers are being flooded with connections that their infrastructure can barely handle. Some are turning to Wi-Fi to offload heavy data usage but all of these solutions seem like a bit of a cop out. I am truly hoping that LTE will alleviate some of these pain points but my conversations with experts in LTE do not suggest it will be any easier without a huge influx of additional frequency bandwidth for carriers.
To end of I was curious how many of you have a femtocell in your home? Let me know which one you have and if it works well. I am testing out an AT&T MicroCell and it seems to work decently (beside the stupid GPS requirement) but it has some major failings. For example, if I am on a phone call and come home it will not automatically transfer the call from the AT&T towers to my Microcell. On the other hand it will work the other way…