Daily Archives:September 21st, 2009

The end of the landline?

Well, OK, landlines are almost gone already, but their demise took another big step closer with AT&T’s testing of a $150 3G femtocell.

If femtocells haven’t played a big role in your life so far, let me explain, because they probably will do in the future. These are little cellphone base stations that you plug into your broadband network and, hey presto, give you mobile coverage in your home or office. Your phone can use them in just the same way as it would use a traditional cellphone tower, and the calls get routed over the broadband to the mobile service provider. Goodbye DECT.

I live about a mile from the centre of the UK’s high-tech hub, Cambridge, and still get pretty patchy coverage in my house from most of the major providers. It’s a disgrace, but soon devices like these will allow us to fix the phone companies’ failings. At our own cost, of course, but that’s better than not being able to make calls at all.

Anyone trialling them in the UK?

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser