Product: Cordless Phone
Micro-Cells   (+5)  [vote for, against]
Merging your home phone and portable phone

A consumer grade "micro-cell" station that you can set up in your living home. When your cell phone is within the micro-cell, you handle your own air-to-ground transition and it's just like using a cordless phone. Once you pass outside of the micro-cell, the phone automatically transfers you to the commercial antenna.

The goal is so that all my voice calls come through a single phone, but when I'm home (like, "in my house or yard") I don't have to pay airtime charges.
-- Eeyore, Mar 08 2000

Bluetooth http://www.bluetoot...dels/two_in_one.asp
``At home, your phone functions like a portable phone (fixed line charge). When you're on the move, it functions as a mobile phone (cellular charge). And when your phone comes within range of another mobile phone with built-in Bluetooth wireless technology it functions as a walkie talkie (no telephony charge).'' [egnor, Mar 08 2000, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Ericsson Cordless Telephony System
A GSM version of this phone. There was a model from Motorola too, but I can't remember what it was called. Didn't think a lot of cellular providers carried it. [koz, Mar 08 2000, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Verizon in US
Jun 18 2003: It may not use the technology you describe, but the basic idea is now baked. [krelnik, Oct 17 2004]

It looks like someone has actually made this now [hippo, Aug 13 2007]

In the UK you can currently buy a phone that does this. Although what happens is it switches from DECT to GSM when you leave the range of your cordless. Unfortunately calling this phone is always charged at the same rate as a call to a mobile, no matter where you are.
-- rob, Mar 08 2000

The panasonic Telular is a cell phone when you are away and a cordless phone when you are in your office or at home.

Motorola M70 M75 M77 cell phones work on a "in building cellular system."
-- wireless, May 17 2001

I am told that both Lucent and Cisco are seperately working on systems that have micro cells as you call them plugged into an ethernet backbone. The reason for this is simple - lets say a company has 1000 employees with cell phones that the company pays for - by using their existing network infrastructure internally, they can get clearer calls and tax the cell structure less. The company can then do thier own voice routing as well as negotiate a better deal with their cell provider.

I guess a more practical way to look at is an 802.11b cordless phone. All you would need is a power to the phone without pulling any more twisted pair copper. 3COM has a bunch of solutions like this one:

I know that voice-over-IP is not up to par yet and neither is Wi-Fi - but we'll get there soon enough.
-- marc1919, Oct 19 2001

Is this Micro-Cell device gets it power from the LAN, using Power over LAN technology? or does it have to have a power supply 'brick'.
-- power, Feb 27 2002

I've been searching for a device like this. What I envision is a stand-alone "black box" that operates on one or more of the current PCS protocols (GSM , etc.) so that it is NOT tied to a particlular make of handset. My GSM phone (as most, I think) allows me to manually select a GSM network, as there are sometimes more than one in a service area. By registering a SIM with the "black box" you take care of security issues. I thought I saw a device like this in an issue of Wired. I've been digging through my back issues, but haven't found it yet.
-- polytek, May 10 2003

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