Some Sprint customers who have problems connecting to the carrier's 3G EV-DO network are receiving an Airave femtocell for free. The product helps those unable to get a signal, connect to Sprint's 3G pipelines. Mark Elliott, a spokesman for the pin-dropping network said that the Airave Access Point is being sent to those with specific connection issues. According to Elliott, "Each customer situation is reviewed independently to determine whether the customer would qualify and benefit from Airave use. This is an updated Airave model, and does support Sprint 3G (EV-DO) data speeds." 6 simultaneous calls can be handled at one time with this unit.
While the femtocell is being shipped at no cost, once the user leaves Sprint, he must return the Airave to the carrier or else face a non-return fee. All phone calls, data and text that runs through the femtocell, will count toward the user's regular monthly plan. To put this offer into perspective, AT&T offers a femtocell called the 3G MicroCell for $150. Unlimited calls can be made for $20 per month although data is charged against the user's monthly data plan.