The attocell connects to a user’s laptop via USB, which provides power and an internet connection. It then analyses the IP address and radio environment to determine which country it is in, and sets its 3G radio power accordingly to below the licenced level. In some countries its range will be just 5mm, in other countries, it could cover a whole room.
Like Ubiquisys femtocells, the attocell continuously monitors its radio environment to ensure that there is zero impact on existing mobile networks. This intelligence, combined with its tiny power output, is likely to make the attocell exempt from regulatory controls and the requirement for type approval.
In 5mm mode, the traveller simply lays the iPhone on top of the device and the phone connects automatically, just like a regular femtocell. Calls can be made using a Bluetooth or wired headset , or by using the iPhone’s speaker.