Vodafone is making new femtocell technology available to its customers, which eliminates the problems caused by inadequate network coverage within the home by creating what is essentially a small mobile base station hooked up to a broadband internet connection.
Vodafone has called its femtocell product the Sure Signal box and it claims that within a 50-yard signal radius it will eliminate the not-spots that litter the UK and make mobile use very difficult for some customers.
Customers will not be required to make any alterations to their mobiles, but since the signal produced is only compatible with the Vodafone network anyone with a different provider will remain in a dead zone.
Vodafone Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Guy Laurence said that the Sure Signal box was unique to Vodafone, making it the only UK provider to offer better network coverage in its customer's houses.
Vodafone begun trialling femtocell technology in 2009 and was encouraged to develop the Sure Signal box when customers proved to be willing to pay £160 for the prototypes. The Sure Signal box will retail for a far more reasonable £50.
Despite the price drop, some are unconvinced by Vodafone's move, believing that consumers should not have to pay for the inadequacies of the network coverage.
The Sure Signal box will allow customers to perform all of the functions they would expect and on top of making voice calls they will also be able to go online and download data quickly.
Poor 3G network coverage is particularly prevalent in rural parts of the UK, with Wales and Scotland the worst affected areas. Vodafone's new femtocell technology could soon put an end to all that.
By way of a footnote, this writer is sitting a metre away from a Sure Signal box at the time of writing and can confirm that it has addressed hitherto poor reception.