Vodafone trialling new ways to improve coverage

Vodafone trialling Sure Signal extension
Vodafone trialling Sure Signal extension

Vodafone has told TechRadar that it is running a trial to determine whether it can extend network widely via its Sure Signal program.

The Sure Signal femtocell can currently be bought by users to improve signal in their home, using internet data to create coverage in houses that have traditionally struggled to receive Vodafone reception.

These require users to register each number to the femtocell to access the network, meaning if your next door neighbour owns one, you won't be able to benefit.

However Jeni Mundy, Vodafone's CTO, told TechRadar that trials are underway to use the Sure Signal boxes on a wider scale, enabling venues such as hotels to expand coverage over a finite footprint.

Do it like BT

She told us that while there still isn't a date for the trials to end, if it is successful then it could be rolled out on a wider scale, in the same way BT offers Openzone Wi-Fi on users' HomeHubs through its FON program.

Mundy also told TechRadar that the Sure Signal boxes may be updated in the future after some users have complained about the price of the units and the fact the signal can't penetrate parts of some older houses:

"We're constantly working with our manufacturing partners [about issues such as these]; we were the first to bring such a device to market so we have a lot of influence.

"Our roadmap [for the Sure Signal unit] is to listen to a lot of customers and feed it back to the manufacturing process."

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.