Cisco's investment in U.K. firm IP.access gives further thrust to a technology that seeks to bring the advantages of mobile connectivity and support to the main cellular networks.
IP.access makes devices called femtocells, which boost cell phone signals indoors to provide better in-building cell phone coverage. Femtocells offer wireless operators a cost effective way to improve network coverage. Several wireless carriers around the world have already begun using the technology. Sprint Nextel announced last year it would offer its Airave femtocell product. And IP.access says on its Web site that it already has deals with several network operators including T-Mobile USA, Smart in the Philippines, Telfort (now KPN) in the Netherlands, and Telefonica O2 in the Czech Republic.
Femtocells are mobile stations that boost wireless signals within limited premises. The investment is an expansion plan for Cisco beyond the realms of Wi-Fi and wired connectivity.
Seamless connectivity on the mobile front is the next thing waiting to hit the technology circuit, and major firms are hedging their bets on technologies that are bringing this to fruition.
Femtocells Brace for Big 2008 (Unstrung)
Cisco follows Google and invests in a femtocell start-up (NetworkWorld)
Femtocells Coming to a Home Near You? (BusinessWeek)
Cisco buys into femtocell vendor ip.access (TechWorld)