Sprint and Verizon have been enjoying their CDMA femtocells stateside for a while now, but Vodafone becomes the first to do the honors in Europe today by launching the continent's first commercial 3G femtocell, christened the Vodafone Access Gateway. The device -- seemingly sourced from Alcatel-Lucent -- requires an in-home broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 1Mbps. It's rumored to be capable of full HSPA, enough horsepower to feed even high-end Voda handsets with WiFi-free broadband in places around the home where reception's normally a little dicey (or absent altogether), and it'll drive up to four authorized phones with it at the same time. Anyone on a £30 monthly contract or higher can get it at no charge, but otherwise, you can expect to pay £160 (about $263) for the pleasure of building out Voda's network on its behalf. So, AT&T, what's going on over there, guys?

[Via Slashdot and eWeekEurope]

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Vodafone launches Europe's first 3G femtocell today