Sprint Airave 3G EV-DO Femtocell
Sprint will apparently begin offering FREE femtocells for its "qualified customers" that have reception problems on their 3G / EV-DO phones. Sprint's new Airave femtocell now supports 3G which technically should be 3X faster (500-700 kbps kilobytes per second ) than their 2G Samsung femtocell of 150 (kbps). The updated Airave Access Point (aka what is a femtocell?) uses a customer's broadband internet connection to route calls back to the Sprint network and is being marketed by Sprint as a mini cell tower. It covers up to 5,000 square feet and supports up to six calls simultaneously. The Airave will be available in stores to customers with specific in-building reception issues.
Sprint 2G Airave femtocell has been around for almost 3 years since 2007 and sells for $100. For some reason that makes no business sense, Sprint will still continue to offering its' 2G data version of Airave for $99.99, plus a required $4.99/month plus an activation fee of $10 for a single line or $20 multi-line plans. We don't have a clue why they would continue charging for a old product other than possibly trying to avoid cannibalizing their existing customers.
Sprint is riding the data wave that AT&T creating launched their AT&T femtocell earlier this year. Sprint seems to be doing it right and offering the device for free which is how it should be. We are not quite sure what criteria will get you the "qualified customer" status yet but here are some ideas below that might help get you a free femtocell:
- Find out if the Sprint 3G femtocell is available in your market.
- Use Sprint Dead Zones Map map to share reception problems in your neighborhood (see map below)
- Complain a lot to Sprint customer service that your home reception is poor
- Document your dropped calls on a daily basis using your monthly bill
- Show Sprint that you have been a customer for many years
- Show Sprint that you have multiple Sprint phones in the house
- Show Sprint that you have multiple subscribers in the house
- Show Sprint that you are a Clearwire customer
- Become friendly with your local Sprint store sales manager
- Find out when your contract expires and use renewal as leverage