Google Startup Reveals Base for Business Travellers

Business users could soon be able to cut roaming charges associated with calling home from another country thanks to a unique innovation by a Google-based technology startup.

Ubiquisys has unveiled what it claims is the world's first personal base station for international travelers, enabling them to reduce roaming fees and make mobile calls like in a home country.

A carry-along basestation for travellers has been unveiled by a Google-backed startup.

The startup said the timing of devices reaching consumers depended on telecoms operators and it was in talks with several operators.

The telecom network base station, which is plugged into the travelers computer, is slightly larger than a smartphone, and needs an internet connection.

Depending on local regulations, travelers would need to put the phone on base station or it works within a room.

The new device, called attocell, is designed for use with Apple's iPhone, but it works also with Google's Android phones, RIM's Blackberry and Nokia's smartphones.

Ubiquisys is one of the top firms in the new market for femtocells - small, low-power indoor base station for 3G mobile phone networks - enabling operators who struggle with network capacity to improve indoor coverage at a much lower cost.

Many industry analysts forecast the market to surge in the next few years, helped by falling prices, and to top $1 billion in two to three years.

In addition to Ubiquisys, major technology firms such as Cisco, Samsung Electronics, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei make femtocells.

The devices are plugged into a customer's broadband Internet connection, like a wireless internet base station, and allow users to make calls or use data services with their regular 3G mobile phones.

In addition to Google Ubiquisys owners include Accel Partners, Advent Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, T-Mobile's venture fund, SerComm and UMC Capital Corporation.

"At Ubiquisys we are constantly developing new ways to harness intelligent cell technology," said Chris Gilbert, Ubiquisys' chief executive. "The attocell innovation is a direct response to meet a specific requirement from mobile operators."

The product will be showcased at next month's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

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