If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of a mobile blackspot at home and you happen to be an Optus customer, the telco has just launched the country’s first Femtocell pilot program, giving your phone much-needed coverage in your home via your broadband connection. The catch is that you have to pay for it.
The controversy surrounding customers having to pay for femtocells to boost their coverage at home has raged through the US recently, and now Optus is hoping to address some of its network coverage with the same technology.
Essentially, a Femtocell is a little box that plugs into one of the ports on the back of your router, and gives you mobile coverage within a 30 metre radius for four simultaneous mobile phones.
The Optus device will be available to limited Optus Stores in Sydney, Brisbane, Wollongong and the Gold Coast, and is obviously only available to Optus customers. The pricing of the device varies, depending on the plan you happen to be on, with the cheapest option costing an Optus customer on a $79 or higher mobile plan $60 up front plus $5 a month over 12 months. Prepaid customers can only get the device for $240.
If you need your mobile and the coverage in your home is sketchy, Femtocell technology is all kinds of awesome, although it does seem a bit rich that you have to pay a minimum of $120 on top of your monthly plan.