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Google sees big money in tiny cell sites

Femto-feeding frenzy commences

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Search giant Google has joined investors pouring $25m into femtocell technology company Ubiquisys, endorsing the technology that aims to put tiny little 3G cell sites into every home.

Last week, Vodafone's request for proposal (basically asking for a quote) for femtocell hardware became public, a significant indication that it's serious about deploying the technology in at least some of its operating territories.

This follows the recent announcement that Netgear would be incorporating femtocell technology into some of its ADSL routers.

Femtocells are more useful than just delivering cellular coverage. They have the potential to replace Wi-Fi in most homes, as well as delivering data content without using cellular infrastructure - if network operators can understand and exploit their potential.

Ubiquisys isn't the only player in the market, but as market leader it's probably a good investment if femtocells live up to even a proportion of their potential. ®

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