Doug on IP Comm – An independent voice on VoIP, telecom, and IP Communication

MagicJack femtojack?

Posted on: June 29, 2009

Enterprise VoIP Planet is reporting a jaw-dropper.  The magicJack guys are saying that they are making a femtocell-esque version of the magicJack device. For a few dollars more, magicJack will supposedly offer a USB device that will latch onto your cell phone signal and redirect an outbound call from a phone into the magicJack network.  If someone calls in on a magicJack number, it’ll ring the cell phone.”

The story quotes Stratus Telecommunications CEO Nathan Franzmeier, with Stratus described as a “sister company” of magicJack.  Franzmeier reported says “we may have to have relationship with a carrier in the U.S.”

NOW, if femtoJack is to use licensed frequencies to bypass the billable-cellular network, I would strongly think that the U.S. carrier that paid for those licenses is going to raise all kinds of hell…assuming femtoJack wants to play on those bands.  Plus if such device was to be sold in the U.S., it would have to get FCC approval.

ON THE OTHER HAND, if femtoJack just happens to use vanilla WiFi and you route everything over Wi-Fi, that’s a different story.  The story is pretty vague on what band or bands femtoJack would play on but implies the device would be legal in a lot of countries.

The Business Insider is reporting magicJack expect to pull $100 million in sales this year and is cash-flow positive.  Claims like this from a privately-held company scare me, especially since the company got hit by PC Magazine for poor customer support and the Boston Globe ran into installation and tech support headaches.

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