Mobility

Vodafone Renames Home Femtocell To Sure Signal

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Vodafone has renamed and cut the cost of its femtocell device in an effort to provide customers with a better indoor 3G signal

Vodafone has renamed and cut the cost of its femtocell device, which is designed to boost 3G mobile phone signals indoors and offload traffic from the mobile network.

It was back in June last year that Vodafone launched its Vodafone Access Gateway, in what was widely believed to have been the first full commercial launch of a 3G femtocell in Europe at that time. Femtocells look like a home router, but are essentially designed to give better indoor coverage of 3G mobile phone signals, which can be problematic to obtain when inside the office or home.

Last October, a survey of over 200 UK mobile users from wireless communications expert ADC revealed that 27.6 percent of people had stated that their work had suffered due to poor mobile phone reception indoors.

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Vodafone has now renamed its femtocell as Sure Signal. It has also cut the price of the device.

“The changes were launched today (Monday) for UK customers,” a Vodafone spokeswoman confirmed to eWEEK Europe. “Sure Signal for home or small offices users now has a one off purchase cost of £50, down from £160. Or consumers can instead opt to pay £5 per month for 12 months if they are on a price plan of more than £25 per month. If they are on less than £25 per month, then the one off purchase cost is £120, or £5 per month for 24 months.”

The Gateway/Sure Signal box used to be priced at a fairly hefty £160 – or an extra £15 per month on a 12 month contract.

“No other network in the UK can ensure a great mobile phone signal in the home, because the Sure Signal is unique to Vodafone”, said Guy Laurence, Vodafone UK CEO. “Customers tell us it is life changing. If they live or work in a basement for example, the only way they may be able to get consistent mobile coverage could be with a Vodafone Sure Signal”.

Sure Signal plugs straight into any home or office broadband line, with a download speed of at least 1MB per second.

It can be registered with up to 32 different mobile phones and used by up to four handsets at any one time. However, they have to be Vodafone UK customers.