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MagicJack Femtocell Gates Cell Traffic to VoIP 243

olsmeister writes "MagicJack is demonstrating a femtocell device at CES that will allow any GSM phone (locked or unlocked) to place free phone calls over the internet using VOIP. The device costs $40 and includes free service for 1 year. It supposedly will cover a 3,000 sq ft house."
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MagicJack Femtocell Gates Cell Traffic to VoIP

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  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ironsides ( 739422 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @02:40PM (#30697910) Homepage Journal

    Another issue is that encryption does not work unless you're a carrier and share a secret with the phone's SIM, which means that invariably your calls will be broadcast in the clear when you're using this device.

    This is no different than most household wireless phones or blue-tooth headsets for cellphones.

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @02:41PM (#30697918) Homepage Journal

    So does it allow you to make calls when you're not in range of your house, like the guy's T-Mobile contract?

    I think that's the point. The problem here with all the "VoIP and Wifi will take over from old fashioned phones" people is that they're bucking the trend. People have migrated in droves from landlines to cellphones, despite the higher costs associated with the latter, for the very simple reason that cellphones work everywhere and landlines only work in one spot.

    I love the "idea" of this widget, but like the GP, I'm doubtful I'd ever find it useful. And initially I thought "That's because I'm a geek", but then it occured to me that I had everything backwards - it's the geek in me that finds it interesting, it's the normal person in me that finds it useless in practice. My wife, my friends, my collegues, are not going to use this thing. We have cellphones because we want a phone that works everywhere, and this isn't it.

  • by Mister Whirly ( 964219 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @02:54PM (#30698106) Homepage
    How is that any different from your cell phone? That also has to be on to make and receive calls. What is the big deal? Besides, my PC is on 24/7 anyways.
  • by azmodean+1 ( 1328653 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:32PM (#30698606)
    A couple of assumptions you're making here:

    1. That it will not use GSM encryption

    2. That it is not encrypting the voip data

    3. That someone using a cellphone in their home NEEDS encryption to the femtocell

    3a. Not being able to make calls is preferable to being able to make unencrypted calls.

    4. Intercepting unencrypted GSM can be performed "with ease"

    5. The people doing the interception don't have a backdoor to the GSM network

    These all seem to me to be pretty poor assumptions.

  • by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:42PM (#30698750)

    The ability to ditch your wireless phone and use your existing mobile phone (provided it has GSM) as well as use the service without dedicating a computer to the task. Basically, when you walk in the house and walk past the femtocell your mobile phone re-syncs to the femtocelll and now you are no longer using your wireless carrier but Magic Jack for service. When you leave the house your phone reconnects to your mobile carrier. Why do you need this? You may not but there is still a large enough constituency that have limited anytime minutes who would find this wonderful. Especially if they consistently go over their minutes.

  • by jonaskoelker ( 922170 ) <jonaskoelker&yahoo,com> on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:00PM (#30699050)

    Mod me off-topic if you need to, but this title is why I my relationship with the English language is still slightly iffy.

    MagicJack Femtocell Gates Cell Traffic to VoIP

    So let's see, proper noun, noun, noun, noun, preposition, noun. Where's the verb? Who's trafficking cells through the gates here? Or wait, the cell traffic of the femtocell gates is to ... no, wait. With all the noun-as-adjective and ambiguous noun-or-verb words, your natural parser screws up---assuming your natural parser (like mine) is greedy and wants to impose structure as early and often as possible.

    Would it really be that awful to say "MagicJack femtocell gating cell traffic to voip"? Then you need a smaller token (i.e. word) lookahead before you can reduce "MagicJack femtocell" into subject, "gating" into verb, "cell traffic" to object, etc. (or at least, you will sooner make guesses which later turn out to be correct, and so you won't have to backtrack).

    I ar dum. Editor buffalo smurf easier to marklar and understand. Plies.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"