Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sprint to Launch Samsung Femtocell (Phone Scoop)

Samsung this week announced the "UbiCell" - a femotcell product - in both CDMA and WCDMA versions. Femtocells are cellular base stations the size of a wi-fi access point that provide cellular coverage in the home. Sprint is currently wrapping up a trial of the CDMA UbiCell, and plans to launch it in early 2008, according to Samsung. A WCDMA version for America is planned for trials in 2008. The UbiCell connects to the carrier's network via a home broadband connection (DSL or cable.) Phones must be authorized to use the femtocell - meaning the signal is not available to guests or neighbors - although up to four authorized users can use it simultaneously. The CDMA version supports both 850 and 1900 bands, plus EVDO and seamless handoffs to towers on the main network. Users can travel with the UbiCell and use it wherever there is power, broadband, and their carrier has licensed spectrum. A GPS system ensures it does not operate in areas the carrier is not licensed.