Ever since AT&T announced their 3G femtocell solution, confusingly dubbed the “3G Microcell,” signal-seeking AT&T customers have been waiting for Big Blue to go live with their wireless signal booster. That wait may soon come to an end. Reports have crossed the wires, indicating that AT&T is finally preparing to launch their 3G Microcell in the US. The 3G Microcell’s nationwide launch is expected to happen before the end of 2009 – if we had to guess, we’d say it’s going to go live no later than November.
A femtocell is like a pint-sized cellular base station that consumers can use to boost signal strength in their home or office. The femtocell broadcasts a building-sized wireless umbrella that mobile phones (and other mobile devices) can connect to. All voice and data communications are ferried to AT&T’s network backbone via a wired broadband internet connection. In AT&T’s case, the 3G Microcell will broadcast a 5,000 sq. ft. wireless network and can support simultaneous 3G voice and data services for up to 10 separate mobile devices.
While the likes of Sprint and Verizon already have femtocell solutions in the wild, the 3G Microcell is still in testing in select US markets. With a little luck, we’ll see the GSM femtocell launching in early Q4 2009.