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An indoor cellular access point that routes cellphone calls over the Internet. Connecting to the home or office network, which must have a broadband Internet connection, the femtocell is a mini cell tower with a range of approximately 5,000 square feet. When users are within range, their phones pick up the stronger femtocell signal rather than a weaker signal from an external cell tower.

Help the User; Help the Carrier
Femtocells let people make and receive calls inside buildings where cellular reception may be poor. They also help the carrier, because calls that traverse the femtocell and Internet provide relief to their over-the-air networks in congested metropolitan areas. Contrast with mobile broadband router.

AIRAVE, MicroCell, Network Extender
In 2007, Sprint introduced AIRAVE, the first cellphone femtocell in the U.S. In 2009, AT&T and Verizon introduced the MicroCell and Network Extender, respectively. WiMAX carriers also encourage the use of femtocells for improved indoor coverage (see WiMAX).

Reroute Via the Internet
The femtocell is like a mini cell tower inside the home or office that routes cellphone calls over the Internet to the carrier's network.
References in periodicals archive ?
Airvana has been a key small cell supplier to Sprint since 2010, when the operator introduced its 3G AIRAVE offering.
Handoff from Sprint's AIRAVE [TM] or Verizon's Wireless Extender femtocells to a nearby macrocell is supported, but not all femtocells work in the opposite direction: You have to re-establish the call when entering the femtocell area.
Ubee-AirWalk's femtocell, branded AIRAVE Pro Connect, is currently in use in Sprint's in-building solutions product portfolio.
While Airvana has leapfrogged other vendors in terms of shipments and revenues from small cells, based on their Sprint 3G AIRAVE contract, its limited reliance on the CDMA market holds it back.
The product branded Sprint AIRAVE Pro Connect is available now for Sprint's Custom Network Solutions customers to accommodate the rapid growth of indoor mobile traffic.
Reportlinker Adds Sprint Nextel AIRAVE Femtocell BTS Model SPDSC26UCS
Sprint (NYSE:S) announced today it has received a Femtocell Industry Award for its August 2008 launch of the world's first commercially available femtocell, AIRAVE by Samsung.
The award-winning Sprint AIRAVE gives customers enhanced coverage in their home or office that's simple to access, low-cost and works with any Sprint phone.
com/research/87dd00/design_analysis_sp) has announced the addition of EJL Wireless Research's new report "Design Analysis Sprint AIRAVE CDMA Femtocell BTS 1900MHz" to their offering.
The first real competitive solution that could rival Wi-Fi-based products has now appeared, in the form of Sprint's nationwide (US) femtocell-based AIRAVE solution.
amp; DALLAS -- Sprint (NYSE: S) and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) announced today that customers across the country will soon be able to get enhanced wireless coverage, plus the option of unlimited calling with an AIRAVE voice plan, in their homes or offices with the upcoming nationwide launch of the Sprint AIRAVE by Samsung.
com/research/26608b/sprint_airave_pcs) has announced the addition of EJL Wireless Research's new report "Sprint AIRAVE PCS CDMA Femtocell Model SPDSC26UCS" to their offering.