back to article Femtocell experts create even tinier porta-base station

Femtocell experts Ubiquisys have designed an even smaller network base station that you can take on holiday to dispense with roaming rates forever - if your network will let you. The Attocell, as Ubiquisys would have it, broadcasts at such low power that it's legal to use in many countries, including America, without a licence …


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  1. The Indomitable Gall

    Retrofit to Kindle.

    If you could retrofit this to a Kindle, you'd bankrupt Whispernet....

  2. Anomalous Cowturd

    Am I being dense by asking...

    What's the point of a 1 - 2 metre range?

    Surely, if you have an internet connection, you could simply use cough Skype cough or a SIP solution...

    Or a megaphone!

  3. GettinSadda

    What is the point?

    Can someone please enlighten me to what the point is?

    This device turns a broadband internet connection into a 3G connection so that you can use your mobile without paying roaming fees. However, if you have an internet connection, why not just use VOIP for calls and WiFi for data?

    If having the same dial-in number is important to you, can't you set your phone to re-direct incoming calls to your VOIP number?

  4. Tom_


    You need internet access... and then you can get free phone calls?

    Isn't internet access more expensive than calls when you're abroad?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      > You need internet access... and then you can get free phone calls?

      > Isn't internet access more expensive than calls when you're abroad?

      not if your hotel provides free internet/wifi. If not, just remember not to tether your laptop to your phone!

  5. Anton Ivanov

    Solution... Looking... for a problem...

    So where did my Nokia with a SIP client go... Aha... yes... there it is...

    There is a simple solution to - kill your mobile phone number. Kill your copper landline too.

    My asterisk diverts to my mobile (trying VOIP first) if I am not at my desk (based on log-in timestamp).

    This way the only phone I need to give away is my office number. It also cycles through all foreign SIM cards I have if neither VOIP nor UK mobile answer. Sipgate outgoing call tariffs are about 10-15% of the roaming tariffs by the UK mobile operators so regardless of how I am connected back to the mothership I still save money and it still looks like a UK landline for anyone who calls me.

    Ditto for calling back - it is a trivial call-back script.

    1. Adam 10

      How long?!

      So, how long do you expect people to stay on the line for while your system cycles through so many items?

      With a Cisco IP phone set-up, I find that by the time the call has diverted to my mobile the caller has heard 3 rings anyway and gives up, without a missed call ever showing on either phone.

      People thought I was just neglecting to call them back, so I disabled the call-forward.

  6. XMAN

    Designed to plugin to usb port

    If you have a computer with an internet connection and usb port, why not just run skype?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Build it in to the phones?

    I was thinking about this the other day since I usually don't get a signal at home. The attocell would also be great for when i head over to the states, but in the meantime a femtocell would solve my immediate problems - I wasn't aware they were publically available so cheaply.

    The next step would be for the phone manufacturers to build this kind of tech straight into the phone so that if you have a wifi signal but no cell signal it can talk directly to the network to send/receive texts and calls and cut out the cell altogether.

    An interesting quetsion though, is what is the incentive for operators to come together to either achieve the above or sell these attocells when they can charge £2 a minute when you call from abroad, but with an attocell you can just use your inclusive minutes?

  8. James 100

    Pretty pointless

    Given a good enough Internet connection to use this, you can just use VoIP on your handset over WiFi instead. So, this is useful for those who travel frequently enough to spend significant money on a geeky accessory to their handset, but aren't willing to use that money to make it an iPhone, N95-type Nokia, BlackBerry or Android ... talk about niche!

    I can even do CLID-spoofing (standard feature of SkypeOut) so people can see my calls as coming from my O2/Giffgaff mobile number, wherever I am ... or a geographical number I pay a trivial rental for, which I can receive by VoIP or forward anywhere I like. Cheap or free for everyone else to call me, free for me to receive anywhere in the world I can get Net access.

    Or, pay a mobile operator so they can rip people off for calling my 07nnn number, using some special piece of kit, in certain countries. Ummm ... no thanks.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    The most daft Idea I have ever heard! (even dafter than mifi)

    WTF is it with selling pointless devices? Really who is stupid enough to buy them?

    so if I have internet, I can now connect to my home service provider so they can charege me for calls? WTF??? more to the point WHY have a seperate device? if the service provider wants to provide this just write a voip App that connects via a secure internet connection to only the service provider who can then route via thier network and charge me...(isn't this pretty much how Google voice works just without the ip to ip calls??)

    or even better dont charge me, for using my own voip... skype google voice etc.

    I just dont get it.. perhaps someopne with a MIFI could explain why I need a seperate device...(rather than mobile tethering!)

  10. Mike Shepherd

    The cell may be legal but...

    Can a standard handset reduce its power enough not to interfere with the "standard" local cells?

  11. Tim 8

    Why not just use UMA?

    Femtocells just act as WiFi - Cell (3G) gateways. But smartphones already can communicate over WiFi. All that is needed is for the carriers to support it. I had it in my T-Mobile Blackberry, and it was the single most important feature in my mind. I had perfect reception at my house and anyplace I had a reliable WiFi connection.

    Having to use Skype or other separate app is too clunky. I want my phone to ring when I get called, and to be able to just click and dial out from my directory.

    I'm still baffled why no other carriers support UMA, at least here in the US. It would solve many if not most complaints of weak or no signal.

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