MagicJack’s Femtocell Technology

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Bulldog

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It looks like the folks that market MagicJack plan to offer femtocell technology, that will allow a person within their home to use any GSM cell phone to access its voice network through the Internet, instead of using their own carrier’s network.

This will allow the user to be able to use this service without using the user’s cellular minutes, they state that even old unused cell phones (GSM) will work.

The cost is slated to be about $20 a year.
 
Scott Greczkowski

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Saw this last week at Showstoppers, its an amazing advancement.

The only issue I see with it is if you are home and connected to the Femtocell the only way for people to call you is dial your majicjack number as your cell phone will go to voice mail as it thinks its off the network.
 
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The only issue I see with it is if you are home and connected to the Femtocell the only way for people to call you is dial your majicjack number as your cell phone will go to voice mail as it thinks its off the network.[/QUOTE]


Good Point.
 
meStevo

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About every article I've seen about this indicates they're going to get bent over a table by the cell providers and the FCC.

MagicJack femtocell sure to face legal battle royale -- Engadget

Engadget said:
  • Are these guys licensing spectrum from the gub'mint, sublicensing it from carriers, or just going rogue? Going rogue. Historically, this usually ends in an FCC-mandated shutdown -- and since both carriers and the CTIA will undoubtedly be throwing a fit that some company is stealing pricey spectrum for its own purposes, we're sure the pressure on the government to act will be quite high.
  • Are any carriers in on this, and if so, why? Nope, none. The company says that "if they were smart they would take [it] on as a partner, because all [it] could do is enhance the value they create for their customer," but presently, MagicJack's all alone.
  • If carriers aren't involved, why would they establish roaming deals that would allow carrier-branded phones and SIMs to roam on MagicJack's rogue airwaves? As far as we can tell, they aren't on any roaming deals.
  • If they're not working on roaming deals, the femtocells will need to spoof a carrier ID. Furthermore, TDMA femtocells are virtually impossible to design and install for technical reasons, which means these would have to be 3G. So MagicJack's going to offer a UMTS femtocell? It appears to be a plain-Jane GSM femtocell, which is technically interesting considering what we've heard in the past about effectively making a TDMA unit that plays nice with the surrounding network. Considering everything else we know, though, it probably doesn't play nice -- and without a roaming deal in place, they'll need to spoof. That's going to rile up both carriers and the GSMA.
  • Do you get to keep your phone number when you roam on the MagicFemtocell, and if so, how? For incoming calls, probably not, unless you forward to the MagicJack number.
 
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About every article I've seen about this indicates they're going to get bent over a table by the cell providers and the FCC.

MagicJack femtocell sure to face legal battle royale -- Engadget


My understanding is that MagicJack will have a small server hooked up to your computer’s USB port and the range will be limited to just your home. So you will use your GSM Cell phone after registering with this server, and make calls through the Internet; similar to Skype I guess. I did not read anything on roaming around outside your home.

As Scott pointed out, as far as incoming calls: how will that work?
 
TheForce

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Inbound calls will work the same as outbound. It's just that the phone number will have to be a magic jack number.
Wouldn't this require you use a SIM card from Magic Jack?

As far as the FCC is concerned, I do wonder about the licensing aspect. The phone has to be transmitting under 100 mw to be license free. Anyone know what the current cell phones operate at? The only number I recall is the old bag phone was listed as 3 watts but that is long gone.
 
Stargazer

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Maybe someone can come out with a low watt repeater or an antenna that will increase the range since you can get power from an antenna when you have a limit at 100 mw for radio power transmission. 100 mw is not too bad if you have a decent antenna.
 
TheForce

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Active repeaters are still subject to the regulation for license free use. About the best you could do to improve the antenna without making it too directive is an ERP of 125mw. Beyond that you'll be robbing one direction to gain in another.
 
Stargazer

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A larger omni or a directional antenna on one end of the house placed correctly to get the signal beam over the house like a sector.
 
TheForce

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A larger omni or a directional antenna on one end of the house placed correctly to get the signal beam over the house like a sector.

Imaginationeering is fun but often impractical. Good luck with that! :) Lots of effort for little gain, combined with null zones. You'll think you're on T-mobile's dropoutland. :D
 

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