My Verizon Blackberry Storm 9530 has poor voice reception inside my house. Partly that’s because I live in the hills where no carrier’s signal is very strong. However, another reason is I’m inside my house. Construction materials block signals, some more than others. Indeed, I get a better signal standing outside my front door or on my driveway.
One solution is to take and make my calls outside my front door or on my driveway. However, that isn’t very convenient or even practical. Another solution is to buy and install an antenna that boosts the signal. However, the installation seems like a PITA, and I’ve heard mixed reports about how well this solution works.
Femtocell is the solution I’ve been watching for some time. This technology utilizes a small cellular base station (think of it as your own personal cell tower) which broadcasts through your home and connects to the service provider’s network via your home’s broadband connection. I have a T1 connection at home, so the broadband connection easily could handle the extra load.
Sprint’s Airave has been available for several months. However, a femtocell is specific to a carrier. Neither AT&T, the carrier for most of my family’s phones, or Verizon, the carrier for the Storm, have offered a femtocell. Until now.
Verizon launching Wireless Network Extender femtocell on January 25 is a self-explanatory title as well as the source of this article’s picture. This bad boy costs $250. But that may be worth it to solve my home’s signal reception problem. Though how well it will is no sure thing. Handset issues may hurt femtocells points out that today’s devices are not yet optimized for femtocells.
I’ll let you know if I pull the trigger and go for this. And if I do and start glowing in the dark, you’ll know a downside of having your personal cell tower in your home.