The femtocell should improve T-Mobile’s network coverage—both indoors and outdoors.
T-Mobile announced a new femtocell—a portable device that boosts wireless signals. Meet the 4G LTE CellSpot, an updated version of the Wi-Fi CellSpot Router announced in September last year, and a first of its kind in the U.S. The mini tower uses your Internet connection to provide roughly 3,000 square feet of full-bar LTE coverage anywhere, even without a cellular signal.
The carrier’s 4G LTE CellSpot is 8.5 inches wide, 8.5 inches tall, and 1.3 inch thick. Being a plug and play device, it connects to your router through an Ethernet cable. However, your Internet must be at least 2Mbps (download) and 512kbps (upload). The only caveat is you can’t control who can access the device, so anyone within range can use it.
Although the device is the world’s first 4G LTE femtocell to come from a U.S. carrier, it has a few rivals. AT&T has the MicroCell, Sprint sells the Airave, and Verizon Wireless promotes a Network Extender from Samsung. T-Mobile now has three femtocells: a 4G LTE CellSpot Signal Booster that doesn’t need Internet connection, a Wi-Fi CellSpot Router announced last year, and the 4G LTE CellSpot, which the company revealed today.
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The latter supports 3G, 4G, and LTE mobile devices that are compatible with T-Mobile’s network. It can support up to 16 devices simultaneously, the company said, even those that can’t use Wi-Fi calling, although this affects your cellular data allotment. But using the device has its own advantages, including crystal clear calls, HD voice, VoLTE, video calling and advanced messaging—all without the need for a cellular signal.
The 4G LTE CellSpot from T-Mobile is coming on November 4. If you’re a Simple Choice postpaid subscriber, you can get this device for free. There’s a refundable $25 deposit, though. The move is T-Mobile’s way of giving more control to its customers. It’s also a strategy to keep its subscribers locked in. Overall, the mini tower should improve T-Mobile’s network coverage—both indoors and outdoors.
“Where the T-Mobile Wi-Fi CellSpot’s like a T-Mobile tower, this new 4G LTE CellSpot is a T-Mobile mini-tower—and it’s a huge feat of engineering,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “The big difference between us and the carriers is that they’ll do absolutely everything they can to bleed you dry. We’ll do absolutely everything we can and use every proven technology available to give you the best coverage possible.”
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