Feeds

Vodafone offers customers chance to pay for own infrastructure

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...
Magic quadrant: Top marks for, er, completeness of vision, EMC
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.