Let me start by a confession: I'm a cheapo. I check out a certain deal site daily to find stuff in bargain prices. Maybe a behavior disorder, maybe the fact that no rich relative had landed a pack on me (yet).
So I'm looking through the site and it takes me to ARC Wireless Freedom Antenna:
"The ARC Freedom Antenna is a cell phone booster antenna that is designed to increase your cell phone reception 8X! Using its patented technology the Freedom Antenna eliminates dropped calls and dead spots and enhances voice clarity. The Freedom Antenna is essential for sales people & executives, remote workers, or anyone frustrated by dropped calls and poor reception. For use in home, office, hotel, car or truck. The patented Freedom Antenna really WORKS!"
Yes!!! for $31.99 I can get the quality of wireless service that I was hoping for when I bought my phone!
Wait a minute...
Don't get me wrong: I am totally for an industry that has identified a real gap and is set to provide solutions there. I'm actually a big supporter of these solutions like UMA (Kineto Wireless), Femtocell (from various vendors like LGCWireless) and other solutions like the one I mentioned. One reason, beyond pure entrepreneurship, is that my coverage at home is so poor!
So the next step is for wireless operators to offer the medicine: Sprint's femtocell AIRAVE (read more) service and T-Mobile's UMA Hotspot @ Home solution will make it all better. (Have you noticed the UMA buzz in the wireless community lately?). (Side comment: I wish some of the service offerings felt more confident in their phone selection, simple vs. complex charging model and simple vs. complex service story).
Take my advice: read all the details about what are the savings and the extra charges in the service. If you think you got it, let me know. Here's a self quiz: if you start the call outside home and then come home to your 'local' network, what's your bill going to look like?
It might be me, but it strikes me that, year 2007, a workaround for a coverage problem is promoted as a cool new service that you actually got to pay for, sounds to me like one great market spin.