Wireless Subsidies Reversed: Verizon’s $249 Femtocell Arrives

Verizon Femtocell unit

Verizon Femtocell unit

I’m still not sold on this whole femtocell approach. These devices offer better cellular phone coverage in your home, which is great for you. They also offload voice traffic from the carrier’s network to your broadband connection which is good for them. I’d call it a wash in terms of benefits, so why does it cost you, the consumer? That’s the question you’ll need to answer before you plunk down $249 for Verizon’s Femtocell.

Stacey thinks it’s pretty lame and I tend to agree. It’s not going to do a whit for any 3G data services, so don’t expect to get a better EV-DO signal with one of these. For improved data, you’re better off using the integrated WiFi on your phone… yet another reason to make sure that your handset includes WiFi as a feature.

As someone who’s considering a dump of the landline, I’m all for better wireless coverage in my home. I just don’t think I should have to pay $250 to essentially subsidize Verizon’s network. Or anyone else’s for that matter. At least VZW isn’t charging a monthly fee; that would be adding insult to injury. (Any Sprint AIRAVE customers want to chime in here?) Maybe this whole model is a play on the wireless subsidization method. After all, the carriers routinely pay some of our handset price so they can rake in monthly service fees. In this turnabout, we’d actually be offering them a similar benefit with a femtocell, no? The least they could do is offer a $10 monthly discount on FiOS or DSL internet service since that’s where the calls get routed.


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