updated 04:20 pm EDT, Wed September 6, 2006
femto3G Access Point
We frequently laud 3G mobile broadband for removing many of the limitations of land lines. Even so, there are still serious restrictions: most 3G connections can only be accessed by one user at a time without special effort, and these services are largely useless if indoor interference ruins the signal. HSDPA users (such as those in some Cingular areas) may gain some relief from both problems if British firm ip.access' new femto3G is chosen by carriers and stores. As suggested by the name, the femto3G connects to an existing HSDPA service and shares the connection over a large enough radius to reach everyone in a typical home, including areas which would normally be out of range of a 3G receiver. It can also tap into existing IP-based networks to let computers with more conventional network hardware take advantage of 3G Internet access. No launch partners were announced with the femto3G's introduction, but the rapid expansion of mobile broadband should see the new access point become an option in the coming months.