So here's a product which is bound to conjure mixed emotions...
The 'Vodafone Access Gateway' is a small plug-in box designed to significantly boost customers' mobile phone signals in their homes. It is the first of its kind anywhere in Europe and simply connects to any home broadband line to enhance indoor 3G coverage. The Gateway can support up to four simultaneous voice calls and could prove a revelation for Vodafone subscribers living in areas with poor signal.
"The Vodafone Access Gateway will boost indoor mobile phone coverage for customers who today, find they need to move around the rooms in their home to get a consistent signal strength," said Vodafone consumer director Ian Shepherd, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK. "We are committed to delivering the best, most reliable network and this is another step towards maintaining a seamless service."
The Gateway does come after 12 months in which Vodafone has brought live over 1500 new 3G and 2G base stations, but it acknowledges there are still some locations that suffer from poor coverage.
No here's the counterpoint: when it goes on sale on 1 July, the Gateway won't be cheap. It can be bundled onto an existing customer contract to absorb purchase price but it will still cost you up to £15 per month. The alternative is to pay the one-off £160 RRP.
Now personally, as handy as this could be, I'd suggest it's easier to just change networks. Every network has patchy coverage in certain areas but only in the utter wilderness are they normally all defeated. Find out what network works for you, save the £160 and buy a better phone/get a better contract/bank it.
That said, at least you now have more options...
Vodafone Access Gateway Product Page (Coming Soon)