Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Femtocells: Vodafone has launched a femtocell as an access gateway

[itproportal] Vodafone has introduced a tiny peripheral that will help customers who have had bad reception and network coverage as well as inconsistent signal strength in their households.

The world's largest network operator uses femtocell technology in the Access Gateway and customers can plug into any broadband line to improve the network's service. The device itself will go on sale for £160 although existing customers will get it free when subscribing to a monthly contract of £15 or more.

The Vodafone Access Gateway (VAG) is similar in size to a router and will be available from the 1st of July. It works with all 3G mobile phones and will support up to four voice calls simultaneously.

Ian Shepherd, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK, said in a statement that "The Vodafone Access Gateway will boost indoor mobile phone coverage for customers who find they need to move around the rooms in their home to get a consistent signal strength".

VAG uses technology from picoChip and will also provide with more advanced features like call routing. Customers can register online the mobile numbers they want linked to the Vodafone Access Gateway and within 24 hours the full service will be ready and working.

It is unknown whether other network operators will follow suit and release their own network-enhancing devices.

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