Details on AT&T’s 3G MicroCell: everything but the date and price

via Engadget by Chris Ziegler on 1/25/09

T-Mobile has HotSpot @Home, Sprint has AIRAVE, and Verizon has its Wireless Network Extender, leaving just AT&T among the States’ big four carriers without a launched WiFi or femtocell solution for extending signals into the home — but it looks like that’s finally getting close to changing. We know that they’ve been in the process of trialing some units recently, and tipsters have observed that there’s now a pretty slick site launched on AT&T’s domain for its 3G MicroCell, an indication that they might be looking to go retail eventually. There’s quite a bit of detail here; from the picture, we can make out that the unit comes from Cisco (versus Samsung for Sprint and Verizon), and like its competitors, the MicroCell will require a broadband connection to operate. It’ll cover up to 5,000 square feet, allow up to four simultaneous voice or data connections (locked down so that your neighbors can’t pilfer the signal), and most interestingly, will only work with 3G phones. We’ve heard that femtocells are more difficult to manage in a 2G GSM environment than in CDMA and WCDMA — hence the 3G requirement — but the cells offered by Sprint and Samsung only offer 2G coverage, so AT&T’s arguably got an advantage here. We still don’t know exactly when this is coming or for how much dough, but the site makes mention of a “3G MicroCell service plan,” so we’d count on a fee for the pleasure of extending AT&T’s network on their behalf. Follow the break for AT&T’s full rundown of the device.

DataWind shows off PocketSurfer 2 at 3GSM

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We were still hoping some day soon we might get our hands on the vaguely vaporous original 2004 PocketSurfer, but apparently DataWind has finally jumped to the sequel with their new PocketSurfer 2. Demoed live at 3GSM today (sorry folks, they only supplied a render), the new PocketSurfer not only has a slimmer physique, it’s also finally gotten its own cellular radio, too. (Aww, isn’t that special.) They didn’t mention which kind, but apparently DadaWind will hook you up with a free unit if you show up at 3GSM and load a page on your mobile device faster than they can with their PocketSurfer 2. Tomorrow we might just have to take them up on their little offer.

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