Ubiquisys (http://www.ubiquisys.com), a developer of 3G and LTE intelligent cells, has announced what it says the world’s first attocell — a personal femtocell. Designed primarily for people traveling abroad, it enables mobile calls to be made and received as though in their home country.
Although developed specifically for the iPhone, the attocell works out of the box with any 3G phone, and has also been tested with Blackberry, Nokia and Android Smartphones. Ubiquisys is already in discussions with several mobile operators about the product.
The attocell connects to a user’s laptop via USB, which provides power and an Internet connection. It then analyses the IP address and radio environment to determine which country it is in, and sets its 3G radio power accordingly to below the licensed level. In some countries its range will be just 5mm, in other countries; it could cover a whole room, according to the folks at Ubiquisys.
Like Ubiquisys femtocells, the attocell continuously monitors its radio environment to ensure that there is zero impact on existing mobile networks. This intelligence, combined with its tiny power output, is likely to make the attocell exempt from regulatory controls and the requirement for type approval, according to Chris Gilbert, CEO Ubiquisys.
In 5mm mode, the traveller simply lays the iPhone on top of the device and the phone connects automatically, just like a regular femtocell. Calls can be made using a Bluetooth or wired headset, or by using the iPhone’s speaker.