Vodafone is the first UK mobile operator company to test Ericsson’s new 4G Radio Dot in-building coverage system, which is designed to boost indoor cellular phone signals.
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.
However, the Radio Dot system still requires more wiring than ‘standalone’ small cells, as it has a not dissimilar installation to distributed antenna systems (DAS) as each ‘dot’ has to be connected back to a baseband unit somewhere in the building.
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.