Vodafone UK have become the latest carrier to offer a femtocell, and the first in Europe to do so. The Vodafone Access Gateway connects to a subscriber's home or office broadband connection and creates a local "3G cloud" of coverage; up to four Vodafone 3G handsets can use this at any one time, with their calls and data routed over the broadband.
Described as similar to the size of a router, Vodafone are yet to release images of the Access Gateway [image above via bandaancha], but we're presuming it will be similar to Sprint's AIRAVE and Verizon's Wireless Network Extender in the US. As with those femtocells, users can choose to pay a monthly subscription for the Access Gateway - either inclusive in a contract plan, from £15 ($24) per month, or alone from £5 ($8) - but they're also offering it as a one-off purchase for £160 ($260).
Customers can pre-select the devices that will be allowed access to the femtocell, via an online interface. Sales begin on July 1st.
Boost Your Mobile Signal at Home with Vodafone Access Gateway
- Small, plug-in box that improves indoor coverage in the home
- Quick and easy to install – plugs into any home broadband line
- First of its kind in Europe – exclusively for Vodafone customers
- A small plug-in box that will significantly improve customers’ mobile phone signal in their homes has been announced today by Vodafone UK.
Available online and in store from the 1July, the Vodafone Access Gateway service is the first of its kind anywhere in Europe. A neat box, similar in size to a router, plugs straight into any home broadband line to bring customers improved and more reliable 3G coverage indoors.
Quick and easy to install, the Gateway works with all 3G handsets and can support up to four voice calls at any one time. Customers will no longer need to worry about missed calls on their mobiles due to inconsistent indoor coverage. With the new Vodafone Access Gateway customers will be able to take advantage of the full range of Vodafone services via their handset anywhere in the home.
The Gateway is available from free or as part of an inclusive price plan from as little as £15 a month. It is also available as a one off purchase for £160 or a monthly charge from as little as £5.
“The Vodafone Access Gateway will boost indoor mobile phone coverage for customers who today, find they need to move around the rooms in their home to get a consistent signal strength,” says Ian Shepherd, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK. “We are committed to delivering the best, most reliable network and this is another step towards maintaining a seamless service.”
The Vodafone Access Gateway can be ordered from July 1 at vodafone.co.uk/gateway or in Vodafone stores and is delivered to the customer. Customers then 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.
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