Portable base station to cut roaming charges

A UK firm has unveiled a personal base station for travellers, letting them cut roaming fees and make mobile calls like their home country.

Portable base station to cut roaming charges

Ubiquisys said its “attocell” network base station is slightly larger than a smartphone. It is plugged into a computer via USB and needs an internet connection.

Depending on local regulations, travellers would either need to put the phone on the base station and use the speakerphone or a headset, or it works within a room.

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.

Ubiquisys said it “analyses the IP address and radio environment to determine which country it is in, and sets its 3G radio power accordingly to below the licenced level.”

The attocell was designed specifically for use with Apple’s iPhone, but it works also with Google’s Android phones, RIM’s Blackberry and Nokia’s smartphones.

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

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