A cellular technology which has been offered in many other places around the world has finally been launched in NZ. Femto Cells are available immediately from Vodafone NZ and allow those in homes or regions lacking in cellular coverage to link a mini cellular base station to their Internet connection.
Femto Cells are being priced at $349 for a basic unit (supports up to 4 cell phones) and $1033.85 for an ‘Enterprise’ option which supports up to 8 mobiles. The units are being marketed by under the ‘Sure Signal’ branding by Vodafone. Users will need to have a fixed line ADSL Internet connection from Vodafone to use the service. A 14-day money back gaurantee is also offered.
As an ‘introductory offer’ Vodafone NZ are also offering a free ‘Broadband Complete’ Modem/Router to users who do not have one already. These are a very flexible modem/router that support the latest Wi-Fi standards (B/G/N).
Some carriers internationally offer specially benefits for those using a femto cell. AT&T for instance offer free calling when connected to the femtocell (or microcell as they call it). Vodafone NZ have not announced any such benefits but it’s possible such offerings will come in the future. For, Vodafone will be using this as a differentiator as no other carriers in New Zealand support or sell a femtocell.
I will report back on the results of testing the Femto Cell once I have one in my hands (am awaiting delivery). Follow me on Twitter for updates: @paulspain