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Summary:

[qi:004] Updated: Verizon Wireless is going to launch a femtocell device on Jan. 25 that would allow you to get better coverage on your Verizon wireless line. Of course, you will need to pony up $250 for a femtocell gizmo, perhaps pay an additional monthly fee […]

[qi:004] Updated: Verizon Wireless is going to launch a femtocell device on Jan. 25 that would allow you to get better coverage on your Verizon wireless line. Of course, you will need to pony up $250 for a femtocell gizmo, perhaps pay an additional monthly fee and use your own broadband network (for which you already pay a monthly fee) — all so that you can use the hardware (phone) and the service (your wireless service) you are already paying for. I can understand paying for the hardware, but additional service charges don’t make any sense. In fact, it gives Verizon and others reason to not upgrade their infrastructure and keep picking your pockets …don’t you think? (Sprint isn’t any different either.) Now that’s a racket better than Don Corleone’s business!

Update: When contacted, Verizon Wireless says it hasn’t announced the pricing just yet. “We have been testing a product and plan to make an announcement early this year,” Verizon spokesperson wrote in an email.

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  1. Although I no longer use the Verizon Wireless service, when I did (for two years +) I used the zBoost product, which is a basic broadband wireless RF (multi-band) two-way repeater. It looks like a little WiFi AP, but is not. It connects an outdoor antenna that I have (via coax) to an indoor repeater and allows me to get the signal anywhere inside my house. While I had to pay for the device, it is independent of my broadband use (and therefore operates despite my broadband ups and downs). It does not consume broadband bandwidth. It does leave verizon paying for their own bandwidth. It SHOULD NOT be necessary, but it is because their tower is not close enough to my home. Best of all, it works across multiple bands, so now that I have a new wireless carrier, I continue to use it and it works well with my current AT&T service.

  2. Nothing on that site indicates a monthly fee of any kind. In fact, the pricing ($249.99) vs Sprint’s $99.95 + $5 a month tells me that they will just sell it outright.

  3. zBoost looks interesting, but even more expensive than Verizon’s proposed femtocell.

    I’ve been pretty happy with T-Mobile’s WiFi phone service. Of course, T-M doesn’t have nearly Verizon’s coverage, so this service is more important for them. Whether it’s getting coverage in remote spots (My garage is one. Friend’s beach house is another), or making/receiving nearly free calls between US and foreign hotspots, has been a deal at $10/month.

  4. @Paul

    I have been using the T-Mobile WiFi service and it makes more sense to me because I ported my home number to that line and now get a pretty decent service on my mobile and my hope for an extra $10 a month, which in the end is saving me cash overall.

  5. Ridiculous! Reminds me of how Charter is feeing its customers to death now.

  6. @Peter,

    We have heard that there is plans to charge. I have asked for clarifications from the company and hopefully I will hear back soon even though it is a holiday. I will update that to reflect it clearly.

  7. For me the question is – would this be your own private femto, or would it also give service to neighbors? If it gives universal service, things are easy (and dandy) for Verizon, as they get extra coverage and revenue, but trying to tie a femtocell to a particular phone is hard. Any nearby device would identify the signal as a valid Verizon network cell, try to register, and be denied by the network – causing your phone to lose coverage or its battery die from the multiple handover retries. Remember, if you have better coverage from your femto, likely so does your neighbor. Any insight into this?

  8. While I don’t know Verizon’s exact business model, I imagine the minutes carried via the femto cell are not counted towards your monthly minutes. In a way, the consumer can (a) move to a less expensive monthly plan and/or (b) drop the wireline voice service

  9. It would be better to get something like the Wilson stuff that gets you an extra 50 miles with it’s 3 watt booster. You can also put one in your car or boat.
    http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/
    http://www.alternativewireless.com/cellular-antennas/wilson-antennas/wilson_cellular_amplifiers/direct-connect-amplifier.html

  10. porting your home number makes sense, as long as you are the single user of the phone. studies have shown people view home number as sort of a family thing and porting it over to one person’s device usually does not work. now more interesting services can be created….

    also porting over the number does not have anything to do with wifi or femto. that is more of an handset issue.

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