Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Vodafone promises indoor mobile signal boost - V3.co.uk - formerly vnunet.com
More and more people are starting to realize that mobile phones are much more practical than the old fashioned "land line phone". With a mobile phone you are always reachable and a mobile phone has a built-in address book unlike the land line where you have to look up the number (on your mobile phone!) before you can dial it. Given the almost limitless number of minutes that cell phone plans provide these days, it seems to make sense to abandon the land line. However one problem remains: the cell phone reception inside homes is not always perfect.
Vodafone and AT&T now both have announced plans to provide a solution that will boost the cell signal in your home. Both are selling a small box that plugs into your broadband connection and effectively turns it into a small cell tower such that your cell phone connects to the new "tower" and all your calls will be routed over the Internet. Vodafone's solution will be sold stand alone whereas the AT&T version will be bundled with their Uverse product. These products are great solutions for homes with poor or no cell reception. You could even carry the box with you and get cell phone reception wherever there is a broadband connection.
Of course T-mobile has had this solution all along. (Probably because T-mobile's network coverage has always been lacking behind the other carriers). The big difference with the T-mobile@Home product is that all national calls made via the box are free of charge. It remains to be seen if AT&T and Vodafone will match these prices.
I still think it is strange that subscribers have to pay for these boxes since essentially they are providing the carrier with a free cell phone tower.