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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 ?
Femtocell communications and technologies; business opportunities and deployment challenges.
Our latest product emulates all elements involved in the IuCs and IuH interfaces, namely the RNC, MSC, Home NodeB (HnB - Femtocell), and Home NodeB (HnB) Gateway".
"Following a slow start, the number of operators launching commercial femtocell services is increasingly quite rapidly in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa," comments Frederic Pujol, Head of Radio Technologies & Spectrum at IDATE.
Unlike his domestic counterparts, Wang chose to bet on femtocell technology instead of delving into the development of worldwide interoperability for microwave access, otherwise known as WiMAX.
Informa Telecoms & Media today issued its latest femtocell market status report which revealed that there are now in excess of 2.3 million 3G femtocells globally compared to 1.6 million 3G macrocells, highlighting the growing popularity of the technology.
For this reason, femtocell is seen as a quick and flexible interim solution to deploy in-building solutions due to their simple installation."
In HetNets, a mosaic of wireless coverage is obtained by a variety of wireless coverage zones from macrocell to small cell such as, pico- and femtocell. Of increasing interest to mobile operators are the customers' installed femtocells that can greatly improve indoor coverage but share the same frequency band as the macrocells.
Such as macrocell base station (MBS), microcell base station, picocell base station, femtocell base station (FBS) and relay base station.
The utilization of cognitive radio technology on mobile network (cognitive radio network, CRN) strongly supports the development of mobile communication technology, especially in the femtocell network.
In general, the main drawback of the USS is that the femtocell users (FUEs) may not be able to attach to the FAP as its coverage is limited because of restricted transmission power of the FAP.
[USPRwire, Tue Nov 17 2015] A femtocell is a small and lightweight cellular base station designed to increase the signal strength and coverage area of mobile networks, indoors and outdoors.
Recently, LTE has developed a femtocell for indoor coverage extension.