A femtocell is a wireless access point that improves cellular reception inside a home or office building.

The device, which resembles a wireless router, essentially acts as a repeater. The device communicates with the mobile phone and converts voice calls into voice over IP (VoIP) packets. The packets are then transmitted over a broadband connection to the mobile operator's servers.

Femtocells are compatible with CDMA2000, WiMAX or UMTS mobile telephony devices, using the provider's own licensed spectrum to operate. Typically, consumer-oriented femtocells will support no more than four active users, while enterprise-grade femtocells can support up to 16 active users.

The name femtocell was derived from "cellular" and "femto," a metric prefix that stands for 10^-15th, or one-quadrillionth, six orders of magnitude smaller than nano. Femtocells were originally called access point base stations. The development of femtocells is credited, in part, to the work of a skunkworks team at Motorola in the UK, where they created the world's smallest full power UMTS base station. 

This video from ThinkFemtocell explains how a femtocell works.

This was last updated in August 2013

Continue Reading About femtocell

Dig Deeper on Fixed Mobile Convergence



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by: