Optus 3G Home Zone Femtocell starts trialling in Australia

Optus 3G Home Zone Femtocell starts trialling

Optus has begun a trial of femtocell technology in Australia, Named as 3G Home Zone, Optus has begun a trial of femtocell technology in Australia, which the telco says will improve mobile reception and coverage in homes and offices affected by network black spots.

Optus recommends that the 3G Home Zone be connected to a broadband service with a minimum download speed of 1Mbps and a minimum upload speed of 256kbps — if the speed is capped at 128kbps or lower, the device will no longer work. A single Optus 3G Home Zone device can connect four Optus devices (mobile phones and mobile broadband products) simultaneously, but up to 12 devices can be registered. Optus says femtocell technology is ideal for homes or small businesses in Australia that suffer from poor or non-existent 3G mobile coverage.

“Australia’s first commercial Femtocell pilot will provide valuable feedback from our customers on the multiple benefits of this technology. The device will be initially available in selected Optus stores in Sydney, Brisbane, Wollongong and the Gold Coast,” said Gavin Williams, Optus Consumer Marketing Director.

Optus sells the 3G Home Zone device on various pricing plans — the cheapest of which involves an upfront cost of $60 and $5 per month over 12 months on a $79 mobile plan or higher. The femtocell device can also be purchased for $240 outright.

The Optus 3G Home Zone is the second femtocell device available in Australia after Vodafone’s Expand product, though the latter is only available for business and corporate customers. The Optus 3G Home Zone can be easily activated through an online portal where customers can add and remove friends, family and colleagues to ensure everyone has a secure and dedicated signal within the home or small office environment.

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