Optus launches '3G at home' femtocell
Optus has launched Australia’s first consumer femtocell service to a chorus of shrugs and yawns.
Australians with a fixed broadband connection can now use that service to connect 3G devices with the device, marketed as Optus 3G Home Zone, ensuring that they can "get five bars" of 3G coverage in their homes.
With the device costing between $60 and $240 depending on the customer's contract type, analysts have accused Optus of making customers pay extra for 3G coverage rather than improving its network. Foad Fadaghi of Telsyte called the offering a "patch" for inadequate coverage.
From that point of view, the value proposition looks odd: an existing 3G customer is offered the chance to pay extra so as to stay connected to the most expensive available service, with the lowest data allowances. The customer's fixed connection, meanwhile, becomes nothing more than a means for the femtocell to log into the Optus network.
The alternative, of course, is for the end user to let their iPhones or Android devices switch to the home WiFi connection.
Vodafone had led femtocell deployment in Australia with a business-only offering. Telstra has said it has no interest in the technology. ®
Mobile phones are only used for facebook these days?
I don't get the data-focused slant on most of the stories I'm reading about Optus and femtocells. I live in a bit of a dip and get weak, spotty reception on all carriers. My phone already uses my WiFi connection when I'm at home, so emails and things come thru fine 24x7. What bothers me is when people call me and because of the room of the house I'm in they get my voicemail.
If a femto cell means I get phone calls and SMS messages *reliably* when I'm at home, then I'm all for it.
3g only or voice (+3g)?
I can see some benefit if you have dodgy optus connectivity for voice but want a cheaper (than telstra) optus contract to receive voice calls. Your phone should switch to your wifi connection anyway.
Now, if optus had a revenue-share scheme if I provide connectivity for my neighbours, or if calls were charged at voip rates while using my own femtocell, then I might be interested...
How about bundling this (on a different pvc) with internet connections?
There are other femtocell models
Look at Japan - SoftBank offers all its customers free femtocells as part of a wider drive to differentiate on quality of experience.