FemtoJack Review – The Magic Jack Cell Phone Device
Update: It appears that VocalTec had stopped work on the FemtoJack and it will not be making it into consumers hands. They are working instead on launching a new product instead; Magic Jack Plus
Femto Jack is surly something most people have not heard of. At CES last week, Dan Borislow CEO of Ymax, announced the Magic Jack Cell Phone device. This device allows you to eliminate the use of the cellular networks from within your home and has a lot of people talking, and for good reason.
For those of you that do not know, Magic Jack is a usb device that on one end plugs into your computer and the other end into your home phone and allows you to make unlimited local and long distance calls to the US and Canada for $20 per year. The Magic Jack has been a huge success with estimated sales of 5 million and over 3 million in use which would give Ymax corp a larger user base then Vonage, who is one of the largest competitors in the VoIP market. Feel free to check out our other post If you are interested in actual Magic Jack reviews. The Magic Jack became a household name thanks to a massive “As Seen On TV” marketing campaign several years ago. Dan hinted that we could expect the same kind of marketing campaign for the latest version which has been termed “FemtoJack”.
What is a FemtoJack?
It is a usb device that is essentially the same size as the magic jack but instead of allowing you to make free phone calls from your land line it allows you to sync up your cell phone and route the call through the Femto Jack device and over your high-speed internet connection allowing you to save those coveted minutes you buy from your cell carrier for times when you are not inside your home. It uses a technology known as femtocells, which allow the device to operate on the cellular networks frequencies. There are such devices already out there but they must be purchased from the cellular companies and are much more expensive. Cellular companies like the idea of such devices because they lesson the load on their networks. This is especially true for AT&T who has had major issues with heavy Iphone use bogging down their network. Another advantage to femtocells is that they provide a boost in coverage inside building that might other wise have spotty cell service.
How does the FemtoJack Work?
The femto device which plugs into your computer detects when you and your cellphone come within a close range (approximately 8 feet) and to make a call you must enter a code into your phone which links it to the femto Jack much like the linking that happens between your Bluetooth device and your phone. Once your cell phone and said device or connected you can place calls and instead of using your minutes from your cell carriers plan because the FemtoJack routes them through your Internet connection. Ymax sounds like they will offer their own rates for international calling which are traditionally much lower than the rates of other companies.
The device uses the wireless spectrum that the cell companies have paid massive amounts of money to lease. CEO Dan Borislow is smart guy and realized that the laws only provide protection against interference in the public space and since the Femto Jack will only be able to send out signal to be contained in a private residence then it does not interfere with any of the current laws. The device is touted as being able to have a coverage area of 3000 sq feet. Also, Dan explained that the user would be able to control the signal output so that the signal could be sent through the entire house or just a single room.
As with the Magic Jack, the FemtoJack will require a high-speed Internet connection and a newish computer. Most people that have issues with the current device seem to have poor Internet connections or slow old computers.
There are surely some legal issues that will arise as the product get’s closer to release. Also, Ymax has yet to have the device approved by the FCC. Although Mr. Barislow has stated that he has no doubt that the device will get approval, it’s still a big potential roadblock.
The company struggled with customer service when the Magic Jack was brought to market but Mr. Barislow has already addressed this and promises that his company has made the necessary improvements and will be ready to support the product at a high level.
The FemtoJack will only be compatible with GSM phones. This will limit the product to those on the AT&T, Tmobile. Those users with Verizon or Sprint will not be able to use the unit.
How much and When?
Mr. Barislow expects this revolutionary pocket sized money saving unit to be released in the second quarter, which is about four months away. Mr. Borislow expects the FemtoJack to cost $40.00 dollars, which is the same cost of the Magic Jack with the same yearly service costing $20.00. There have been rumors that only people who are current MagicJack customers will be able to buy the product.
Stay tuned to thecoffeedesk.com for all the latest femtoJack news.