Aggressive pricing cited as helping boost numbers
Sprint has announced that its Airave femtocells have been distributed to more than 250,000 customers across the nation. The company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi, suggests the number is expected to climb to approximately 1 million over the next few years, according to comments made at the FierceWireless Path to 4G conference.
Sprint ships 3G Airave femtocells for free
Sprint has now begun shipping the Airave Access Point femtocell. The new version carries EVDO and can handle 3G data for homes and phones without Wi-Fi. They continue to provide CDMA for phone calls.
Verizon to ship femtocells
After an FCC leak back in October, it is all but confirmed that Verizon will soon bring a femtocell to market with the Wireless Network Extender, according to an Engadget report. Like Sprint's similar AIRAVE, the Wireless Network Extender can support up to three simultaneous calls and leaves a channel open for emergency calls. The device hooks up to the Internet to let Verizon subscribers make VoIP calls from their cellular CDMA-compatible handsets from up to 5,000 feet away.
Sprint AIRAVE Nationwide
Sprint today made official word that it will offer the AIRAVE across the whole of the US. The femtocell boosts indoors coverage for Sprint's cellphones by receiving the CDMA phone link and using the subscriber's existing high-speed Internet connection at home to relay the calls, eliminating the need to locate the femtocell in a part of the home that can already get coverage. Unlike T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home and other Wi-Fi based options, the licensed frequency isn't as likely to face interference, Sprint argues.