First to the UK with a femtocell last July, Vodafone this week rebranded their Access Gateway with the more customer-friendly name Sure Signal. Their web page details several customer accolades for the product, examples where poor or no previous coverage was available due to living or working in basement flats, or in the wilds of Northumberland.
The box is similar to a router and must be plugged into an existing 1Mb or better fixed-line broadband connection. It allows up to four 3G Voda mobiles to operate at a time, and 32 can be registered in total. The cost for Sure Signal is £50 up front if your monthly plan is at least £25, or £120 for all other customers.
Access Gateway wasn’t very popular, but the industry are watching closely and willing femtocells to succeed, not least because pesky data traffic is instantly transferred to another providers bandwidth. Consumer concerns will remain due to essentially paying a second time to use their own connection when their mobile network can’t provide a signal in the first place.
It would be cool to be able to take your femtocell anywhere in the world, plug it into a local connection, and have a mini network to avoid roaming charges. Regrettably, they only work from your registered home landline number, and all kinds of licensing laws might get in the way.
Originally published at OneMobileRing.com