Attocells make iPhone 3G

Where do you go when you find that picocells and femtocells are too big and clunky? Attocells of course.

James Middleton

April 1, 2008

2 Min Read
Attocells make iPhone 3G

Where do you go when you find that picocells and femtocells are too big and clunky? Attocells of course.

Apparently pioneering cellular infrastructure companies have secretly been working on attocell technology for months, and the first prototypes are ready for testing. One of these companies is femto and picocell vendor ip.access, which has developed a 3G attocell attachment for the iPhone.

The beauty of this unit is that as well as creating its own cellular signal, for areas with little or no coverage, the attocell has the added advantage of making the iPhone 3G capable.

ip.access CEO, Stephen Mallinson, says: “Where I live, there’s no mobile phone signal for miles around, except for a tiny patch at the corner of my bed. With the attocell, I am no longer tethered to the bed, and can use my mobile phone anywhere in the house, the garden, or the entire village.”

Attocell users could potentially open up their attocell to nearby mobile phone users who don’t have their own signal. Any calls made by these subscribers will be charged at slightly above the normal rate, and a credit will be generated automatically on the attocell owner’s phone bill.

But industry sceptic and Disruptive analyst Bean Dubley believes that there are still issues that need to be overcome before attocells can hit the market. “People will be confused about their bills,” he points out. “What if I make a call on the attocell and then the attachment falls off the phone and my call continues on the macro network? Will I still be billed at attocell rates?”

And if an attocell is still too big, rumour has it that a zeptocell, which can be swallowed with a glass of water and is powered by the body’s metabolic reactions, is also in the works.

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James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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