Vodafone says Ericsson’s 4G ‘Radio Dot’ technology can improve indoor mobile coverage for businesses, venues and retailers struggling to provide employees and customers with good reception.
Radio Dot uses smoke alarm-sized small cells located around a building to improve signal and boost capacity.
What makes it different from other small cell technology is that calls and connections between the small cell and wider 4G network are seamless, as current systems struggle because of the different radio frequencies and protocols.
Vodafone is the first operator in the UK to trial Radio Dot and is currently testing the system at its Waterloo office in London. It will test more configurations and scenarios before conducting trials with its corporate customers.
It believes large complex structures such as shopping centres, business parks and entertainment venues are ideally suited for the system, which complements other efforts to improve indoor signal such as femtocells, Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) and deployment of longer range 800MHz spectrum.
“With 70 per cent of customers using their mobile device mostly indoors, we want to eradicate the frustration of losing a conference call or video streaming session when moving throughout a business park or leaving a music venue,” said Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK CTO. “Through our work with the world’s leading equipment and network experts such as Ericsson, we are taking a big step towards achieving that goal through this trial, the first of its kind in the UK.”
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