Verizon is planning to roll out personal femtocells to users this year, following T-Mobile Wi-Fi UMA and Sprint’s femotcell efforts to offer good reception in areas where it, to put it bluntly, sucks. While I’ve discussed this concept before with some rancor, it’s great for folks in dead zones and, interestingly, great for the carriers. After all, these are basically Wi-Fi cell towers and all the backhaul gets picked up by the ISPs rather than the carriers. Why work on a good signal in Bodunk County, Iowa when you can just make the customer pay for DSL and a better wireless signal.
It’s sort of a win-win and sort of a “free rider” problem. I guess that makes it a win-lose. Look for more information about Verizon’s solution this summer.