back to article Voda to plug not-spots with mini-masts in boozers

Vodafone hopes to improve coverage in 12 communities by popping small base stations into pubs, clubs and telephone boxes or nailing them to telegraph poles. The trials will start next year and will use the internet to backhaul connections made to the femtocell boxes, thus providing mobile connectivity to any Vodafone customer …


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  1. McMoo

    Let's hope it's better than the domestic femtocells

    My Voda femtocell sucks. Often it'll work fine, but sometimes, it'll lose internet connectivity without warning - despite other devices and traces showing no loss.

    Sometimes it can take several days for the femtocell to find its connectivity again.

    1. CowardlyAndrew

      Switched my femtocell off

      Are they going to offer free replacements for the duff ones that people have paid for already?

      Works for a few works, and then falls over, and refuses to provide a signal for a week or two.

      Have given up on it for now, though may switch it on again when its cold to warm my feet on using the power brick under the desk.

      The call quality was never great with the old femtocell they sold, but the same broadband line would sustain decent video call quality in Skype.

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. b166er

    Ah, so Vodafone are going to pay for the femtos themselves now, rather than trying to get eveyone else to pay to improve their network for them?

  4. Wize

    But will they start telling the truth on their coverage map

    as its full of crap round my house. Apparently I can get high speed internet via my mobile at home. I'm lucky if I have enough signal to send a text.

    Told them regularly. The map hasn't changed, but the box for feedback on inaccuracies is now missing from the page.

  5. Buzzword

    This seems a bit silly. Mobile phones are most useful when you're away from home, not when you're just down the road in the pub. The village of East Garston is close to the M4, which would be a far more useful place to have coverage. For a salesman or technician driving on the motorway to visit a client, the value of a phone call is quite high. Conversely there is very little value in a nagging wife being able to phone her husband at the pub to tell him to come home.

  6. Usually Right or Wrong

    Oh shugar

    If you go into the basement bar of the Old Cheshire Cheese in Fleet Street for lunch, it is a mobile phone blackout zone and a wonderfully peaceful lunch venue.

    Stick in one of these gubbins and it will be the same as other pubs with hooray henrys and henriettas, chavs and chavettes all howling into their phones.

    Only a matter of time I suppose.

    1. Colin Millar

      I may be mistaken

      But from my (somewhat hazy) recollection of my boozing days all the best publicans used to chuck out the phone crowd. I simply cannot imagine the Cheese plus phones and sans smokers.

      Smoking icon of course

  7. Andy 97
    Thumb Up

    NIMBY's; you only have yourselves to blame!

    The howling of the 'concerned' residents has typically come unstuck in the headlights of technology.

  8. Hyphen

    Public Internet

    When we worry about putting things on the Internet, we tend to use a VPN. Why can't these boxes just fire up their own VPN connection to Voda's servers and then communicate solely on internal addresses?

    Customers won't be able to route traffic down that connection so Voda wouldn't need to put billing on the wider Internet. I doubt there are many pieces of consumer tech which would deny standard VPN tunnels.

  9. Anna Logg

    Not so Sure Signal

    Mine allows me to make 15 minute plus phone calls, but there's a 25% chance it'll fall over when I terminate the call, and when it does fall over, I have to reboot the femto and my router.

    Plus it does occasionally fall over for no apparent reason, maybe once a week. Once it managed to jam my 3G coverage, so I had to switch to 2G to get any signal. Oh, and it used to fall over as soon as I started uploading anything via my ADSL, but a firmware upgrade of my router seems to have cured that one.

    Having said that it is sufficiently useful to justify its existence, my in house coverage has gone from maybe 1 bar to 5 bars most of the time.

    Can't see how using femtos will fly in pubs and such like, not enough capacity, unless they make a 'super femto'; but then that's almost a Pico.

  10. Nathan Askew

    Sure Signall

    When I first got sure signal, I was very disappointed with the performance. If I was uploading data at the same time, the person I was talking to couldn't understand a word I was saying. Then I got a 40MB ADSL line and now all is well. I don't have any problems whatsoever. It really is a godsend because I work from home and previous to sure signal, I got 1 bar at best.

  11. Bodestone

    Too little too late

    And probably won'd solve the issues many of are having.

    I doubt they are going to put up a few thousand of these around edinburgh city center or glasgow to provide some kind of signal that their map claims is there and isn't.

    Between the airport and the center and then back out of the other side it is all buit up, populated areas. 50% 3g coverage which offeres little or no data transfer rate. Only in about 20% or so will it go to 3.5 which is the only time data is possible.

    There is still a good portion where all signal drops off completely.

    It's been getting steadily worse over 6 months and if they can't even maintain their core infrastructure then what are they doing wasting money trying to provide a service that is likely to be just as poor to new areas.

    I'm off as soon as my contract expires in january. I'd go sooner if I could be arsed fighting the early cancellation fee.

  12. jb72

    My SureSignal works very well and is the only reason we're with Vodafone.

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