Feeds

Vodafone offers customers chance to pay for own infrastructure

Let's hope rail companies don't pick up on the idea

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Femtocell World Summit Vodafone surprised delegates at today's Femtocell Summit by announcing that from the first of July, UK customers will be able to buy their own Femtocell, thereby extending Vodafone's network through their own broadband connection.

Femtocells are tiny base stations, GSM in this case, which connect to a broadband connection and route calls and data sessions back to the operator. This bypasses the operator's backhaul network and provides 3G coverage in buildings.

Despite this, such functionality does not come free - customers will have to shell out £160 for the Vodafone Access Gateway. It will also be provided as part of a £15 tariff, rising to £30 if you want an HTC Magic handset. Once purchased, the Femtocell just plugs into the mains, with an Ethernet connection to the internet, and this extends the Vodafone network into your home.

For Vodafone, that means hugely reduced carriage costs, as the traffic is carried on the network you're already paying for. The punter sees better 3G coverage. Some operators have talked about cheaper calls, or greater services, but the Vodafone offering is just about providing coverage by piggybacking on your existing broadband connection.

Vodafone told us they've been running trials for the last six months, and haven't seen any degradation of voice quality, even when the internet connection is in heavy use. That's despite the fact that their Femtocell makes no special arrangements with your router to prioritise traffic. It will be interesting to see if that remains true when rolled out to real customers.

This is very much the first step for Femtocells. The only deployments to date have been in the USA, and they only provide 2G connectivity, so much of the business model remains to be established. But Vodafone's announcement marks the start of wide scale deployments that could see a base station in every home with remarkable speed. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.