Definition of femtocell in US English:



  • A very small mobile phone base station which is connected to the phone network via the Internet, typically used in areas where the mobile signal is weak and considered to be smaller than a picocell.

    • ‘At the moment, it costs about $200 to make a femtocell, and operators won't ship them until that price falls to $100.’
    • ‘With the volumes currently shipped $100 sounds reasonable if it was just the bill-of-materials, and not the whole femtocell, he said.’
    • ‘The incentive could be tied to providing more internet bandwidth in support of the femtocell.’
    • ‘If the base station is a femtocell in the same room, the signal is strong enough that the phone's output will be far less.’
    • ‘The femtocell requires good interaction with other companies' routers, which is tricky, and people might just use the broadband.’
    • ‘Have you seen a femtocell anywhere?’
    • ‘Security measures mean that while the user can register up to 10 phones with the femtocell (four of which can make calls at once), neighbors cannot tap into the connection without permission.’
    • ‘Because of the short distance between the phone and the femtocell, data speeds are always many times faster than the best experience outside; because the cost of providing ultra-local 3 G is very low compared with the outside mobile network, operators can offer very attractive home calling plans and free data.’
    • ‘Householders in areas of high demand in cities or in rural areas where coverage would otherwise be poor to non-existent could elect to have an omnidirectional femtocell installed.’
    • ‘That's not so bad, what is bad is that it will not accept incoming calls through the femtocell, and any calls made using the device gets subtracted from your minutes.’
    • ‘Offer these business incentives to host a femtocell, something larger than a home unit, but smaller than what you've got hanging off your towers.’
    • ‘If a user is making a call through the femtocell and moves out of range, their call will automatically switch to routing through the nearest wireless phone network.’
    • ‘Even better if one femtocell could provide service to all networks (with the necessary agreements in place) thereby minimising the costs and maximising network availability.’
    • ‘A femtocell is essentially a very low-powered mobile phone base station, which consumers can place in their home.’
    • ‘Working parents could also be notified of the return of their children after school as the femtocell would pick up their mobile signal when they come home and send an email or text alert.’


Early 21st century: from femto- (in the sense 'extremely small') and cell (sense 5).