Vodafone have come up with an ingenious idea, in mini format. Working with Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson, Vodafone have introduced a series of ‘mini masts’ that are roughly the size of a briefcase and aim to boost 4G coverage all over London. The deisgn is basically an all round win with the same capacity and functionality of a large mast packed into a small box, using less power and costing less to install.
Vodafone in the past have received criticism for their (lack of) customer service as well as their coverage losing signal, lagging considerably behind rival networks such as EE when it comes to network speed with 4G networks. The first mobile mast has been set up in Southwark, South London and if performance is successful, it will roll out all over the city. Vodafone users rejoice!
The average phone mast operation would cost around £150, 000 in London, depending on a number of factors such as surrounding buildings and mast size. The large masts would usually require a lot of equipment in order to erect it, such as a crane, whereas Vodafone’s new mini masts can be transported and installed by engineers alone – saving time and money. Mobile operators in the past have become frustrated at the prices landowners charge over rent on the land for phone masts, as well as coming under scrutiny over masts being large and unsightly. However, with a state target of voice call coverage for 90% of the UK, masts are definitely needed, and so Vodafone’s new mini mast idea may just be the solution.
Not only is the new system miniature and agile, the brief case sized base station offers three times the capacity for mobile calls. A recent trial has taken place of the current phone masts successfully delivering a maximum of 240 mbps, with Vodafone now saying the same sites are capable of delivering 700 mbps.
The new masts weigh 5kg and to work, only require 100 watts and one single unit can amazingly support 400 connections, with a cell range of 75 KM. Whilst Vodafone’s version of the mini mast has a slick, brief case style, Nokia have opted for a casual phone mast in a rucksack. Casual or slick, could this be the end of no signal?