For office buildings we use signal repeaters for Wi-Fi but many community spaces don’t have that luxury. If you’re in a rural area signal strength might be vague enough outside, let alone behind walls. For that you need Vodafone’s Community Indoor Sure Signal programme.
The Vodafone Community Indoor Sure Signal programme is a scheme that seeks to improve mobile connections for rural gatherings or community resources. By using a Sure Signal+ femtocell unit, the mobile network can provide clear, strong signals within buildings. The technology is already in use on the underground, within large buildings, offices and other places where mobile signals can become spotty.
Vodafone are now offering the technology to village halls, community clinics and hospitals, Scout huts, community pubs and spaces to help stay in touch.
Vodafone Community Indoor Sure Signal programme
The Vodafone Community Indoor Sure Signal programme is designed specifically for rural areas. To apply, you need to have a broadband package in place with unlimited data and a speed of 4Mbps down and 2Mbps up. As long as you have a half decent rural broadband connection, you could qualify.
The intent is to enable communities to do more and connect more. Even in rural areas where mobiles aren’t quite such a way of life, there is a natural nervousness when you’re out of touch. Communities that want to connect with other communities are also out of luck if mobile coverage is poor. Include rural hospitals, clinics and caregivers into the mix and you have a whole host of people who could benefit from a better mobile connection.
Sure Signal+ mixes mobile and fixed line networks to provide reliable coverage where radio alone wouldn’t work. The router collects mobile signals and sends it along the fixed line broadband network to the closest cell to the call recipient or mobile gateway for data. The connection is then converted back into mobile to completion. The process is transparent to users too, so they won’t even realise they are using a hybrid network.
It is a well-established network technology that works well in areas such as the London Underground, providing mobile signals even though you’re below ground.
The Vodafone Community Indoor Sure Signal programme is currently underway with applications being taken until September 1st 2016. There are 100 Sure Signal+ femtocell units being made available. Apply here if you would like to be considered for one.