AT&T reportedly is contacting some customers to see if they'd like to test out a femtocell service.
Writes Ars Technica:
An Ars Technica reader forwarded a customer survey question he'd seen after being solicited by AT&T for his opinion: "AT&T's new product is a small, security-enabled cellular base station that easily connects to your home DSL or Cable Internet, providing a reliable wireless signal for any 3G phone in every room of your house. The device allows you to have unlimited, nationwide Anytime Minutes for incoming or outgoing calls."
Sprint has been offering femtocells for a while now under the name AIRAVE. For the uninitiated, it's a router-looking device that hooks into your broadband Internet connection and spits out a short-range (like, inside your house) 3G signal. Helpful if you're in an otherwise poor coverage area.
Sprint's and AT&T's offerings are different from T-Mobile's @Home service, which needs special handsets and doesn't just spit out a pure cellular signal.
No word on what AT&T might charge for the service. Sprint is charging $100 for its AIRAVE base station, $5 a month for the service, another $10 for unlimited use, plus the usual taxes and fees. [edited] So, how much is a better signal that you're already paying for worth to you?