Optus launches commercial femtocell pilot

11 Apr 2011

Optus Mobile has commenced what it claims are the country’s first commercial trials of femtocells under the ‘3G Home Zone’ banner, iTWire reports. The cellco is initially only offering the devices in selected areas of Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. According to Optus the femtocell should allow customers to register full signal strength within 30 metres of the device, although access is limited to up to four users at any one time, while only customers with Optus 3G SIMS will be to connect to it. The cost of the femtocell is dependent on the mobile tariff that subscribers are signed up to, with pre-paid customers charged AUD240 (USD253) for the device, which falls to AUD180 for those on an AUD29 per month post-paid contract. The cost falls further for those on higher-cost monthly tariffs, with the one-off charge dropping to AUD120 for those on AUD49/AUD59/AUD69 plans, and to AUD60 for those signed up to mobile tariffs at AUD79 a month. Further, post-paid customers are given the option to spread the cost of the femtocell over a twelve-month period.

‘Australia’s first commercial femtocell pilot will provide valuable feedback from our customers on the multiple benefits of this technology,’ said Optus’ consumer marketing director Gavin Williams of the development, adding: ‘We believe femtocells are an important way of enhancing the customer experience of the Optus Open Network by acting as a wireless gateway into the home or office.’
Australia, Optus Mobile