My old pal Clive Akass (PCW's news editor until the mag closed in 2009, making us both redundant) has just posted an interesting piece on femtocells over on The Inquirer. Femtocells are miniature mobile phone base stations - the idea is that if you can't get a signal at home, you install a femtocell which connects to your phone and routes your calls over your domestic broadband link.
Clive's written about femtocells mainly from an operator's perspective, and for them it makes perfect sense to offload as much traffic as possible onto a broadband backbone.
Vodafone has just started flogging its Sure Signal femtocells in earnest (it's been piloting them for many months), and many customers will be totally bemused at having to fork out either one-off fees of £50 or £120, or £5 a month subscription to fix the lack of coverage in their properties.
Not only do you have to pay for the broadband yourself, but you still get charged for your calls. It's not going to catch on unless operators start giving them away as part of a bundle, even if they just make them available in areas with poor coverage.
If you have a Wi-Fi enabled phone and broadband, you might as well connect via VoIP over Wi-Fi - but of course unless you've an unlocked phone, you might well find the VoIP capability has been hobbled by the operator.