A solution to notspots
Telecoms companies often tout the statistic that their mobile phone coverage is x% of the population. What about the 100-x% of the population, typically 4% in the UK, who do not get coverage? There is a larger percentage who do not get 3g coverage. However, help may be at hand. The UK company picoChip recently launched their femtocell solution at CES.
Basically, femtocells are mobile phone base stations. They employ specialist microchips to boost a mobile phone signal, by piggybacking on a user’s broadband connection. The devices also route mobile phone calls wirelessly.
There are three types of femtocells. The one which is of interest to most of us is known as a Class 1 femtocell. This class of femtocell devices are aimed at private and small business users, with between four to eight users. They are about the same size as a small book, and work simply by being plugged into your ethernet and a mains power source, rather like a wi-fi device, to amplify reception within a 50-yard radius. They work with existing phones. Some of the UK mobile phone service providers are giving them away free, depending on the type of contract you have. I hope to get a femtocell soon, as I live in a rural area with little or no signal, and will report back on my experience.