Vodafone Access Gateway Launches in UK

vodafone access gateway

Vodafone have now launched a 3G Mini-Mast (Access Gateway – it plugs into your broadband router) for your home! This is the femtocell that the various mobile phone operators have been promising to unleash on the general public for so long. Other operators are expected to follow suit shortly.

The blurb makes much of the fact that it’s a mast in your lounge with one ten-thousandth the output of its regular big brother masts. The Sagem box costs £160 to buy outright, which can be added to your bill at £5 per month – or if you upgrade your phone/package you might get it included for free.

If you’ve always struggled to get decent mobile phone reception in your home, maybe now you have a solution. You’ll need to be with Vodafone, have a 3G mobile & a broadband router for it to work.

The Access Gateway plugs into the router, you register up to 4 mobile phone numbers and the units serial number online, and then about 18 hours later you can make calls through the unit. As it’s 3G you can also access data services – if you’re on one of the all-you-can-eat plans, of course.

It doesn’t turn your mobile into a BT home cordless phone or anything fancy like that, but for people living in cellars & under-builds it should prove a godsend – now you can call for rescue!

The Access Gateway will provide 3G coverage throughout your home for the four devices (phones) you pre-approve. As you’re now much nearer to the mast your mobile will transmit on much lower power than it would if you were depending on a mast 1000 metres away – which means slightly less RF soaking into your brain & slightly longer battery life!

Range is apparently less than you would expect from a WiFi hub, and with some using Skype over WiFi cordless phones, this won’t appeal to everybody.

I do think it makes a good alternative to just sticking up ever more masts with no regard for whether people actually want them in their streets.

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