This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

This Phone Signal-Boosting Device Is Not for Everyone

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What if I told you there was a device that strengthened cellphone signals so your phone worked reliably inside your house -- upstairs, downstairs and even in the basement?

Interested?

Well, what I told you, sorry, you can't have it no matter how much money you throw at the companies offering it?

That's what is happening all over the country. The device is a tiny cell tower called a femtocell, named for the mathematical term for one-quadrillionth the size of a unit. It can improve indoor cell signals dramatically.

Unlike signal boosters, which take and amplify the stronger outdoor signal indoors, femtocells work even with terrible outdoor signal. They use a home's broadband Internet and a GPS signal to communicate with the nearest mother tower.

Indoors, these petite, portable mini towers broadcast a cellular signal -- not Wi-Fi -- of several thousand square feet so phones remain connected to a cellular network.

But today, only customers of AT&T (T), Sprint (S) and Verizon (VZ) can get one for about $100 to $300. One regional U.S. carrier, Mosaic Telecom in Wisconsin, also offers one for $50. The wireless carriers may toss one in for free, especially if you threaten to leave due to poor indoor reception.

Everyone else? Too bad. T-Mobile, MetroPCS and most other carriers don't offer it. Even some customers of the ones that do such as Sprint-owned Virgin Wireless and Boost Mobile -- are out of luck. Granted, the big three make up about 80% of the U.S. wireless population but it's often the customers of smaller companies that could use the boost.

"Coverage is the main reason why consumers churn and leave their existing operator," said Andy Germano, vice chairman of the Small Cell Forum, an organization promoting the development of these mini cell towers. "Giving someone a low-cost femtocell to address that issue is almost a no-brainer."

The reason why femtocells are not available in stores like Best Buy (BBY) or from every wireless carrier is the devices operate on licensed wireless spectrum, the same spectrum that companies like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint pay billions of dollars to the government. Each femtocell must be registered and approved by its cellphone carrier before it starts working for you.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $129.36 0.21%
FB $79.60 -0.19%
GOOG $573.64 0.40%
TSLA $199.56 1.13%
YHOO $42.62 -3.38%

Markets

DOW 18,203.37 -85.26 -0.47%
S&P 500 2,107.78 -9.61 -0.45%
NASDAQ 4,979.9010 -28.1950 -0.56%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs