It's about time, isn't it? AT&T's 3G MicroCell
has offered support
for 3G voice and data since the very beginning, but Sprint
's Airave femtocell
has only supported 1x voice and data. The femtocell itself has
been out for years with little to no major improvements, but that's
changing now. Sprint has confirmed that they are now selling
3G-supporting femtocells to select customers, with pricing and plans
varying on a case-by-case basis.
We're guessing that the new 3G Airave will go on sale to the masses once
these tests are completed, offering EV-DO Rev. A. voice and data
support. If you aren't familiar with how a femtocell works, you plug a
broadband Internet connection into the device, and it creates a
makeshift cell tower for around 5,000 square feet. It's basically made
for homes where cell reception is subpar, and reviews have generally
been quite positive.
But adding 3G is a huge boon. Many home users were forced to rely on
Wi-Fi for faster phone data, and phones without Wi-Fi were out of luck.
And the good news is that Sprint isn't the only one; Verizon Wireless
has confirmed that they will also offer a 3G femtocell "in the coming
months," but no further details on pricing and such are mentioned.