10/29/2008 11:56:00 AM
T-Mobile first to sell femtocell mini masts
T-Mobile will sell network boosters in the first three months of next year, which will allow businesses to boost network coverage in their own offices.
Femtocells, which have been trialled by several operators since last year, act as a mini mast to improve coverage strength and download speeds. They work by linking to the rest of the core network.
T-Mobile will start selling femtocells to business customers with a price tag of between £40 and £50, but they are expected to be free with certain packages.
T-Mobile technology chief Emin Gurdenli said: ‘The business model is not mature, it is emerging.’
A full consumer proposition is being lined up for the second half of 2009.
T-Mobile sees femtocells as a way of making mobile broadband, mobile email and mobile internet services a more credible option to compare with fixed-line data services, with faster speeds inside buildings.
The operator has previously suffered a poor reputation for its coverage outside London, but now expects to have the strongest 3G coverage after its shared network enterprise with 3.
Gurdenli (pictured) added: ‘It will give you coverage and capacity to link services at home and with home.’
A tendering process is currently underway to find a provider for the femtocell units.
Trials have been running for several months in Germany, Poland and the UK. O2 has previously underlined its commitment to femtocells and has said that it is trialling femtocell technology.