magicJack Femtocell promises any-GSM compatibility

Jan 7, 2010
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If you want a femtocell in the US there are a few to choose from, from each of the major carriers.  If you want one which will extend coverage for multiple different networks, however, you're out of luck; or at least you were until magicJack stepped into the ring.  Both times we've written about the company - who began by offering a low-cost USB VoIP adapter - we've been inundated with less than complementary comments about them.  Hopefully their unnamed femtocell - which promises to work with any GSM phone, even one without an active service contract - will fare better.

magicJack aren't especially forthcoming on how their femtocell works.  Apparently any GSM phone can be used, and all you need to do is bring it within 8 feet the first time - to allow it to "register" - before using it at anywhere in up to a 3,000 square foot house.  Calls are routed over magicJack's Voice Network, an account for which costs $20 per year.

Other than that there are no technical details, which leaves us somewhat confused.  magicJack will supposedly be offering the femtocell to their existing subscribers first - no word on what it might cost them - and we're hoping they'll spill some more information later on in CES 2010.

Press Release:

magicJack Announces Only Plug and Play, Carrier Agnostic Femtocell Technology

Home-brewed Telecom Technology Enables Free Cell Phone Calls

LAS VEGAS --(Business Wire)-- Jan 07, 2010 Coming off a major growth year, magicJack inventor and founder Dan Borislow introduces another industry first: the smallest, lowest cost, plug and play femtocell technology.

What is our femtocell?

magicJack’s femtocell technology enables your cell phone or smart phone to connect through our Voice Network, instead of your carrier network. By utilizing our network via a magicJack account that costs just $20 a year, you may save hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year by offsetting cellular minutes. In addition, when calling internationally, customers will save anywhere from 95-100 percent off current cellular carrier rates. Up to 50 percent of mobile users have terrible phone reception in their houses or small businesses. With our femtocell technology, people will get exceptionally clear quality voice calls every time.

This femtocell will work with mobile phones from potentially any carrier and you may even use an old GSM cell phone without any paid service plans with a carrier. Not only can people connect to their own magicJack device but they can also connect to other femtocell-enabled magicJacks at friends’ houses and businesses. All the user has to do is come within eight feet of the magicJack one time to register the connection and then talk away within a range of a 3000 square foot house.

Other companies have spent up to billions of dollars developing versions of femtocell but they have not achieved the ease-of-use, considerably smaller size and very low cost structure of our femtocell technology. These factors will be critical in determining which company may achieve wide scale deployment using femtocell. magicJack has been developing this technology for over six years and has taken an entirely different path than the rest of the industry. Dr. YW Sing, the inventor of the first video phone chip, and Dan Borislow, the inventor of magicJack, in collaboration have designed and built a new chip that enables our femtocell product. This same chip will revolutionize the way we are able to reach 911 emergency centers too. Said Borislow, “We believe our technology might be the only one that makes sense for any telephone operator to deploy. With over five million magicJacks in the hands of consumers and business owners across the globe, magicJack users create a massive network that will be available via the femtocell technology.” The femtocell product will first be available to magicJacks' existing customer base.

The YMAX Voice Network has supported magicJack with complete reliability as its growth scaled to 200,000 new customers per month in 2009. Our parent company YMAX designed the network to be the lowest cost and highest quality voice network in the industry with more switches/gateways (50 plus) and more session border controllers for security than any other telecom company. YMAX is certified in all 50 states and has the largest breadth of area codes in the country.

Who is magicJack and YMAX?

magicJack is a subsidiary of YMAX. YMAX not only owns magicJack, it also owns its own chip company, softphone company, softswitch/SBC/application server company and has two patents with six others pending. YMAX believes all of its subsidiaries have the market leading technology in their respective fields.

In the past two years, magicJack has sold over five million magicJacks. These plug and play devices can replace home or business phone service for just $20 a year by providing free local and long distance, free voice mail, your own phone number and many other features. Since its launch, the magicJack has received numerous product of the year awards. magicJack is adding 8,000 new customers a day and is sold in almost every major retailer and online. Radio Shack gave magicJack their most innovative product of the year award in 2009. We expect to see additional awards once the femtocell technology is introduced in 2010.

YMAX delivers close to a billion minutes a month now with 99.9% reliability. It has not only been the fastest growing telephone provider ever but has increased its customer care scores by over 10 times in the last two years. Customers reach us on average within four seconds, 24/7. Customers are asked to grade us between 1 and 5 with 5 being excellent service. We began with one 1 to three 5’s. Now on any given day, we get one 1 to forty 5’s. Rated an A by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), this rating is well deserved.

magicJack is currently rolling out a major upgrade to save your contacts and recently called numbers on our network so they are more accessible to you. If you add a second location or use our soon-to-be-announced, stand-alone service (similar to Skype but at a fraction of the cost and with better call quality), you can share this important data across all your phones and computer.

YMAX is a profitable company that had GAAP revenues of about $30 million in 2008 and $110 million in 2009.

magicJack will be exhibiting at the ShowStoppers media event tonight and hosting a private media party for viewing the femtocell technology in the Wynn Fairway Villas (#307) adjacent to the ShowStoppers ballroom. Please be in touch with Kari Hernandez at kari@ink-pr.com for access to the private event where we are giving away over 300 magicJacks.


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