MWC: Voda in local network trial


Vodafone is trialling a new product aimed at improving 3G mobile signals in areas of homes and offices that may have poorer network coverage.

The product is based on technology that consists of a powered booster box connected to a small antenna that amplifies existing 3G signals from the wide area network to offer enhanced reception over a range of up to nine metres.

The antenna is placed where the 3G network signal is strongest, either inside or outside the home or office. The booster is located where an improved signal is required.

During initial trials in Egypt, users reported improvements in network performance including enhanced voice call reception and improved 3G data speeds within parts of a building that had previously only been able to offer low coverage levels.

Vodafone global networks director Andy MacLeod said: “This product may help to improve performance in areas where customers may experience isolated spots of low coverage within the home or small office. Initial results are encouraging and we are now looking to get wider feedback from a broader set of customers.”

Vodafone said the product differs from a femtocell in that it strengthens the signal from the existing network rather than creating a new dedicated coverage zone. It added that it was looking at both technologies to see how they can each meet the needs of customers.