Sprint has officially launched its long awaited indoor femtocell solution designed to extend and facilitate coverage inside homes and buildings with poor reception.
The Sprint Airave is a cellular basestation manufactured by Samsung that relies on an Ethernet connection leading to broadband internet access that splits available spectrum around the coverage radius of the device, up to a maximum of 1500 sq. feet.
The device is now available directly from Sprint for a one-time fee of $99.99 with an additional $4.99monthly AIRAVE Enhanced Coverage Charge on top of unlimited access starting at $10 a month for single lines and $20 a month for family plan access up to five lines.
The Airave has been shrouded in controversy ever since its quiet launch by Sprint in the Denver and Indianapolis markets last year due to its similarities to T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi UMA based HotSpot access and has led others to criticize the carrier for using this as a stopgap in lieu of increasing actual coverage via conventional cellsite construction.
Update: Sprint contacted us to let readers know that Airave will not begin shipping until August 17. This is in contrast to reader reports that Airave units have been ordered and shipped.
From what we can tell, Sprint has halted orders for Airave via its internal Direct Ship system. As such, you will not be able to order an Airave at this point, until August 17.
Furthermore, thanks to our reporting, Sprint has updated the Airave site to clarify the matter.