Becomes first UK mobile company to start testing Ericsson’s new 4G Radio Dot system
The days of dropping a mobile call or an internet connection when in a lift or moving between buildings and the outdoors could soon be over thanks to a new system being trialled by Vodafone UK.
In partnership with Ericsson, Vodafone has become the first UK mobile company to start testing Ericsson’s new 4G Radio Dot system, which is designed to allow customers to be on a call or using video streaming continuously throughout an office building or shopping centre and when they move onto the 4G network.
Until now the call handover between an in-building small cells and the 4G mobile data network are technically more challenging than other technologies due to the different radio frequencies and protocols in use. The new system – being tested at Vodafone UK’s office in Waterloo, London – boosts indoor coverage and capacity as well as provides improved integration with 4G.
The system offers customers mobile broadband throughout a building through the deployment of small cells or ‘dots’, which are approximately the size of an indoor smoke alarm. The system also requires less internal wiring, reducing the need to rip up a ceiling or floor which in turn speeds up and lowers the cost of installation.
Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer Jorge Fernandes said: “With 70% 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.
“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.”
Vodafone will test different office deployments and scenarios with the view of trialling the Ericsson 4G Radio Dot system with corporate customers at a later date. The system complements Vodafone’s low frequency 800MHz spectrum which travels further and penetrates better through walls than other 4G signals to provide the best network coverage.