One of the things I like about residing out of town is the peace and quiet that living away from the daily hustle and bustle can bring. After a hard week working in the city nothing can compete with the peace and calm of a semi- rural location, blue skies and the lack of unwelcome interruptions. Of course, wherever there are advantages there will always be disadvantages and foremost of these is the lack of mobile phone network coverage. While I shall concede that out in the open, 3 bars of signal strength is more than adequate to make and receive calls, as soon as one ventures indoors then this signal soon dissipates to virtually nothing.
Weak Mobile Signals?
The problem here is that mobile signals are easily absorbed by the walls of your home – where the signal is strong to begin with this isn’t necessarily a problem, but where it is not so good then it can be virtually impossible to make a connection at all.
While not the end of the world, this necessitates a fixed line telephone, just in case one actually needs to make or receive a call – which, in this day and age, seems a little archaic?
Femtocell or Access Gateway
Thankfully, there may now be a solution to this annoying problem in the shape of a small box of tricks known as a Femtocell device. About the size of a paperback book or conventional internet router, the device uses your existing broadband internet connection to route your mobile calls via the internet. In effect, the Femtocell creates a mobile base station within your own home. Even if the ambient mobile signal is very weak, or non-existent, you will still be able to make and receive calls with near perfect clarity.
The device, also known as an Access Gateway, can handle up to 4 calls at once and will even support data transfer and text messaging. So, all of your family members can benefit from this technology as well.
It’s expected that eventually these devices will also be able to connect to mobile broadband services – so instead of having a Wi-Fi connection you’ll be able to connect via the Access Gateway? This could prove to be popular as many people have problems with the reliability of wireless internet connections, not to mention the added expense of equipment.
Win-Win for the Mobile Operators?
Some commentators have pointed out the obvious advantages this offers the mobile networks – in effect you are supplementing their infrastructure with your broadband connection. However, if it’s a service you are likely to find useful then you may as well just go a long with it – you have broadband anyway, why not get the most use from it?
Unfortunately, the Femtocell or Access Gateway devices aren’t free – they are being sold outright for around £160 or can be included as part of a monthly call plan. However, if you are currently only managing to make calls from your back garden or by hanging from an upstairs window then it may well be an investment worth making?