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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 ?
The Samsung Ubicell leverages Access Point Base Station technology, known as a femtocell, to improve mobile coverage in the home.
By using Active Ethernet, system installers now only have to run a single Ethernet cable to each Access Point base station, instead of separate power and data cables, saving up to $1,000 per access point installation.
Femtocells (also known as access point base stations or home base stations) "are cellular network access points that connect standard mobile devices to a mobile operator's network using residential DSL, cable broadband connections, optical fibres or wireless last-mile technologies.
Access Point Base Stations will also be provided enabling 100pc wireless coverage at the venue.
It also enables communication between desktop PCs and the entire range of ORiNOCO access points, including the RG1000 home/small office/home office residential gateway and the AP-500/AP-1000 access point base stations for large companies and campuses.