I purchased the Verizon Wireless Network Extender almost one year ago (1/25/09). This device is a femtocell. A femtocell is a small cellular base station which connects to your cell phone service provider’s network via your home’s broadband connection and broadcasts a strong signal through your home. Since the femtocell connects via the Internet rather than over the airwaves, the weakness of your over the air signal doesn’t matter. Important to someone like me who lives in the hills with a weak cell phone signal but a good (T1) broadband connection.
The shortfall in VZW’s network extender is data is only at 1x speed; no travelling down the EVDO data fast lane. But there’s hope. Engadget Mobile reports on Samsung’s forthcoming femtocell, which offers 1X and EV-DO service simultaneously. It also supports 8 concurrent connections – an increase from the current 4. Coming Q2. Unknown whether VZW will offer an upgrade path from its current network extender.
In the meantime, where’s AT&T’s promised femtocell? Or T-Mobile now that it’s ending its @Home service.