Vodafone launches femtocell product

Rural coverage boosted by 'personal cellsite' but only for Vodafone fixed and mobile customers

Vodafone formally launched its femtocell product line called Sure Signal, a rebadged version of Alcatel-Lucent’s product, at a media briefing today.

Alcatel-Lucent began marketing femtocell technology to New Zealand telcos eighteen months ago and Vodafone is the first to offer the product to its customers. A femtocell is a small cellular base station, or personal cellsite, that boosts mobile coverage in areas with poor mobile network coverage. The Sure Signal product has been available for the past two weeks via Vodafone’s website and to date more than 60 have been sold.

Vodafone general manager for network and services Tony Baird says the consumer product can boost the 3G signal by up to 20 metres and supports up to four devices. The enterprise version boosts the signal by up to 40 metres and supports up to eight devices.

Sure Signal is only available to Vodafone fixed and mobile subscribers.

Baird, who before joining Vodafone, was chief executive of Farmside, says the company is trialling Sure Signal over a satellite connection.

Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners says that while Vodafone’s network covers 97 percent of the population, the geographical coverage is only 40 percent.

As part of the launch Vodafone flew journalists to Bethells Beach to demonstrate the product.

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Tags VodafonefemtocellsTony Bairdsure signal

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