Kramer: Ahhh-uhhhh-ahhhh-da-da-da

Yes, that’s your host imitating the sound you hear in an A.M. radio when your cell phone is on and is near the radio.

I was interviewed last year by O’Reilly Media’s James Turner.  He has an Apple I-Phone which he’s not too happy with.  He interviewed me regarding that buzzing you hear when you place a cell phone near a radio.

Look, I do a lot of interviews, and frankly, I forgot about my interview by James.

Recently while Googling my name (admit it…you do, too!), I ran across James’s article, which ran at the O’Rielly web site (this is the link).

The neat part of the interview, which also featured Jeff Rodman, CTO and co-founder of Polycom (you know them for their world famous ‘starfish’ business grade speakerphones), is that you listen to the entire 10 minute broadcast by clicking here (opens a new window to play an MP3).



Why do I have to Place the FemtoCell Near a Window?

The various femtocells being marketed by the major carriers require that they be place near a window.

Huh? They need a good view to not feel along all day?

Actually, it’s because the femtocells need to know where they are installed so that the carriers can (try to) meet the E-911 location requirements.

Femtocells have built-in GPS receivers that tell the wireless switching center, call the Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO for short) where it is installed.  That would be inside your home.  Then, if someone makes a 911 call through your femtocell, the MTSO can use your GPS location (latitude and longitude) to help E-911 dispatchers get help to the caller.

So, to parrot the line from Sprint, “Can you find me now?  Good!”



Like Getting A Million-Dollar Cell Site In Your Home For $249.99

That’s the title of Verizon’s news release dated 1/26/09 regarding their new femtocell.

It seems to me that this is a silly comparison, and one that isn’t anywhere near accurate.

A typical macrocell site costs a carrier something like $250,000 to $350,000 to construct.  And given that the Verizon femtocells don’t provide 3G services such as EV-DO data, you’re hardly getting a “Million-Dollar Cell Site In Your Home For $249.99”!

Here’s the news release:

Verizon Wireless “Network Extender” Enhances In-Home Call Capabilities

“Like Getting A Million-Dollar Cell Site In Your Home For $249.99” 01/26/2009

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless customers now have a new option for enhancing wireless coverage inside homes where location, geography or structural conditions interfere with reception. Customers can purchase the Verizon Wireless Network Extender online, by phone or at select Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, allowing them to enhance the signal inside their homes using any Verizon Wireless phone.

“Our new Network Extender device will bring the full benefit of the Verizon Wireless voice network to the small but important segment of customers who may experience a weaker signal in their homes because of geographic or structural conditions,” said Jack Plating, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless. “Current and prospective customers have told us they want this, and we are responding to that demand. For those who have wanted to sign up for Verizon Wireless service but hesitated because of reception problems unique to their home location, this is the answer.”

Verizon Wireless Network Extender – a “mini-cell site” manufactured by Samsung – is about the size of a wireless router box or small attaché case and routes Verizon Wireless calls through the customer’s home broadband Internet connection. Network Extender is easy to set up and ready to use right out of the box and can provide coverage in an area of up to 5,000 square feet. The price is $249.99, plus local taxes, and there are no monthly fees.

“It’s like getting a million-dollar cell site in your home for $249.99,” said Mr. Plating. “Network Extender makes Verizon Wireless’ reliable network even more reliable, filling in nooks and crannies for customers who see the need.”

Network Extender is ideal for customers who want to enhance the wireless signal when making voice calls, sending text/picture/video messages, accessing Mobile Web or accessing smartphone/BlackBerry® data in situations that could include houses with structural barriers; basement rooms; or some remote, mountainous or hilly areas. Network Extender also can provide improved network access for customers living on the geographical fringes of the Verizon Wireless network. Network Extender does not support EV-DO speeds and services that require it.

Customers, their Family SharePlan® members and other Verizon Wireless customers can use their current phones and calling plans to place calls using the Network Extender. Customers also can manage access to their Network Extender through the account management feature on their My Verizon online account. Customers do not need to update their plans or add minutes and will incur no additional monthly charges for calls using Network Extender.

Verizon Wireless’ Network Extender is available at, by calling 800-256-4646, and at select Verizon Wireless Communications Stores. For more information, visit


Verizion Wireless “Hub: Stylish

Verizon Wireless Logo

February 1, 2009: Verizon Launches the “Verizon Wireless Hub” (it’s version of a femtocell.  What distinguishes Verizon’s offering from its competitors is the combination of in home cordless phone, and the extension of the Verizon wireless network via a built in femtocell site.


The Hub connects back to the Verizon MTSO via any broadband connection.  Pricing for this little gem has not be set as of this writing.


President Obama’s PDA and Cell Phone?

President Obama has said that he’s going to say connected to the Internet and to email.  If he does, he’ll be the first American President to do so.  And while he professes his love for his Blackberry, that is certainly NOT the PDA that he’ll use to stay connected. 

I suspect that our President will soon be photographed using a General Dynamics Sectéra Edge SME PED (“Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device”).  And at only about $3,200, it’ s a real steal!

As touted by General Dynamics, “[t]he Sectéra Edge is the only SME PED that switches between an integrated classified and unclassified PDA with a single key press.”

Check out these features: 


Check out the full details on this little gem by visiting this site.


No, I can’t hear you on Inauguration Day

Reporting on the massive cell phone congestion during today’s inauguration of President Obama, the Associated Press reported that call traffic was up 500% from normal for several carriers.

Big surprise.

The carriers are asking people wanting to transfer photos from their phone’s camera to wait to let the data traffic drop back to normal levels.

To read the AP story, please follow this link.


CTIA 2 DC vistrs..Pls txt..dont call.

In a copyrighted story appearing in the January 19, 2009 issue of WirelessWeek, Monica Alleven reports that that the wireless carriers in D.C. are expecting record-breaking crowds for the Obama inauguration, and with it big-time network congestion.

The CTIA suggests that visitors in D.C. text, rather than make voice calls, to help reduce network overloads.  As Monica notes in her story, “One of the things SMS has going for it is it uses a small amount of bandwidth compared with voice.”

The story is well worth reading!



Sprint Nextel Schedules 4Q08 Earnings Announcement

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 6, 2009–Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) will release its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2008 on Friday, Feb. 27. The results will be posted at at approximately 7 a.m. EST. Sprint Nextel management will host a conference call at 8 a.m. EST to discuss the results, and details for accessing that conference call and replays will be made available two weeks in advance.


Wireless (and some wires) MCLE Presentations

State Bar of California

January 16-18, 2009
Claremont Resort and Spa
Berkeley, California

January 17: 2009 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Session title: “Protecting Client Confidences While Using Mobile Technology”

Learn about the secret life of laptops, PDA’s, and telephones. Understand the threats to attorney-client confidences for attorneys who use mobile technology, and get practical advice on how to protect a law firm’s mobile perimeter.

Faculty: Lisa Miller, Esq., Miller Consulting, and Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq., Kramer Telecom Law Firm, P.C.
MCLE: 1.0 Hour Ethics

…followed immediately by…

January 17, 2009, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Session title: “Telecom Law 101: Basics Every Practitioner Should Know.”

Presentation description: “Telecom law cuts across many government practice areas. Learn what’s new in wireless siting issues and cases; telecom right-of-way; cable TV; telecom safety enforcement; satellite TV; and over-the-air antenna regulation. Inflatable toys will be provided.

Faculty: Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq., Kramer Telecom Law Firm, P.C., Los Angeles, CA
MCLE Credit: 1 hour/General


New Photos in the Gallery: New Mexico and Alaska

Happy New Year!

I’ve just added a bunch of new photos to the cell site photo Gallery.  They include photos in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico of camouflaged (AT&T monopine) and non-camouflaged sites (Santa Fe Opera).

I’ve also added some photos from Ketchikan and Haines, Alaska.

Just click on the photo above, or the link, to go to the Gallery.