HomeMobile EuropeUPDATED: Three UK launching femtocell service

    UPDATED: Three UK launching femtocell service


    UPDATED 11:30am, 24/2: Customer rention tool only – free to customers

    We’ve heard back from Three UK with some answers to the questions we pose below. The femtocell is already available. It is being used as a “retention tool for those experiencing quite bad signal problems.” As such, it is free, with no fee to be paid either up front or as an added subscriptiion. Three UK doesn’t think it wll be actively promoting the femtocell on its website or in its shops, keeping it as a tool for its customer support teams when customers encounter serious problems that require action beyond the normal troubleshooting methods.

    Original story:

    Three UK appears to have become the latest operator to be very close to launching a femtocell service in the UK. A support page on Three UK’s website currently gives information for a product called Home Signal, clearly a femtocell.

    There’s not much else about it on the Three website beyond this support page – nowhere to order the product, for instance, or any information on pricing or availability, etc. Three’s own consumer PR people didn’t seem to know much about it at our first enquiry – suggesting that Three is still pre-launch, or is going for the softest of launches.

    And its customer support video (see below) was only uploaded to YouTube on 17 February.

    However, the support page does seem to suggest that the service will be made available in a fairly targetted way, suggesting it may be something Three will push out to users reporting coverage issues. The page says: “You may be eligible to get a Home Signal box if you have trouble connecting to the network indoors, you live in a rural area or if your house has thick walls that block your signal.”

    Anyway, despite Three telling us it wouldn’t divulge who the supplier is, Three’s own customer support video makes it clear the unit is an NEC femtocell, built on Ubquisys Femto-Engine core technology.

    I’ve asked for some more details from Three, namely,

    • When/if the service is publicly available?
    • Who is “eligible” for the service?
    • What would the Home Signal cost?
    • Where can users order one?

    Let’s see what comes back.

    (Hat-tip to Mindspeed’s @Rupert_Baines for noticing the page on Three UK’s website.)