It's been revealed that perennial SkyMall and late-night TV favorite magicJack has a bunch of new features in the works for its low-cost, USB-bedongled VoIP service including landline number portability and Linux compatibility, but that's not the real news -- what's got us all worked up is word that they're allegedly working on a GSM-based femtocell that'll hook your cellphone into magicJack's service when it's in range. Even better, it all fits into a box "just a little bigger" than the current USB stick, which would make it considerably smaller than any femtocell we've seen launched so far. We're not sure whether these guys have bothered consulting with the FCC or carriers on this, but we've got dozens of questions:

  • Are these guys licensing spectrum from the gub'mint, sublicensing it from carriers, or just going rogue?
  • Are any carriers in on this, and if so, why?
  • If carriers aren't involved, why would they establish roaming deals that would allow carrier-branded phones and SIMs to roam on magicJack's rogue airwaves?
  • If they're not working on roaming deals, the femtocells will need to spoof a carrier ID -- never mind the fact that TDMA femtocells are virtually impossible to design and install for technical reasons, which means these would have to be 3G. So magicJack's going to offer a UMTS femtocell?
  • Do you get to keep your phone number when you roam on the magicFemtocell, and if so, how?

Helluva mess, isn't it? We're sure we'll eventually be able to find out the answers -- and a whole lot more for just one low price -- in a few months' time at 2 in the morning on your local Ion affiliate.

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magicJack working with magicFCC and magicCarriers on magicFemtocell