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Femtocells, small broadband basestations that boost mobile reception, could be used to improve mobile signals.

This is the suggestion of the Guardian in an article published today that examines the potential uses of the new technology.

It notes that currently, indoor mobile network reception - including HSDPA networks that are used for mobile broadband - tends to be less strong, meaning that data can be transferred less effectively than it can outdoors.

Femtocells work by using fixed-line broadband connections to boost signal strength and are capable of carrying data over mobile signals at the same speed as the average broadband connection, the publication notes.

"Now the coverage pattern is reversed - once you get inside your house the signal gets better, not worse," it comments, adding that the technology could allow users to connect to the internet on their mobile phones as they would with their fixed-line broadband connection.

One UK broadband provider to support the technology is O2, which announced last month that it has begun live femtocell trials, with a full nationwide launch expected in 2009.

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