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Mobile Phone Companies Retiring Branded Signal Boosters From Their Networks

Vodafone have announced that they are retiring Sure Signal from their network throughout the year and will switch the service off completely in September 2021.

Three also stopped selling their Home Signal devices last year, although they are currently still supporting existing users. An EE spokesperson told ISPreview that “EE customers can now keep connected in even more places with WiFi Calling, offering a superior experience and so the EE Signal Box is no longer available to buy from our website. We continue to support existing EE Signal Box customers and our contact centre colleagues are always on hand to answer any questions customers may have.” At this present moment, O2 are the only operator to supply their BoostBox to new business customers.

What is a signal booster device?

Until recently, all major UK mobile network operators offered signal boosters – Three (Home Signal), EE (Signal Box), O2 (BoostBox) and Vodafone (Sure Signal). By simply plugging them into a fixed line broadband ISP network, they enable you to harness your home internet connection to create its own indoor 3G mobile signal (microcell / femtocell) over a specific band (i.e. 2100MHz). The only thing that was often required was a minimum download speed of 0.5Mbps to 1Mbps and about half of that in upload performance too.

What does this mean for customers?

To the dismay of some customers, by retiring these devices they will no longer be able to use Sure Signal or register a new Sure Signal device.

One Vodafone customer @slmkingsley expressed their concern on twitter “[Vodafone] were great but have lost a little love since they ended their sure signal and now I can’t get texts in my house anymore.” @slmkingsley

It seems like bad news for Sure Signal customers, but Vodafone claim you should keep getting the same signal strength as before anyway, if not better.

Wi-Fi Calling

Many users with poor mobile signal resort to using Wi-Fi calling, following the recommendation and guidance of the mobile operators in light of the discontinuation of the operator booster boxes. Although improvements and upgrades have been made to the operator’s 3G and 4G networks, Wi-Fi Calling is an attempt by the mobile operators to provide a voice service over their data network.

While it can be an option, the reliability of the service has been called into question and many have discovered, since using the service, that calls have not connected, texts have sent or been received and voicemail notifications have been more frequent, leading some to take to twitter to express their opinion.

“How many people have problems with #wificalling? We live in a bad signal area. Used to have a Vodafone Sure Signal box which worked brilliantly. They have now withdrawn this service on the basis that Wi-Fi calling works well. It doesn’t.” @bjj1212

My Wi-Fi isn’t reliable, is there another option?

For some, the prospect of an unreliable, unpredictable service is not acceptable for their business needs or particular sector. For example, some care home staff rely on a mobile signal for lone worker devices. Clarence Park Village provide their care home staff with lone worker devices to ensure that they can call for assistance and be located when a situation requires it. However, poor mobile connectivity inside the building rendered the devices unreliable.

Another example is in the emergency services require a signal for body-worn cameras – it can be a day-to-day necessity for some people.

It’s an all too familiar story that we lose mobile signal at the most inconvenient time but in the instances above, losing signal can be detrimental. There is an Ofcom-exempt solution that can turn intermittent mobile signal into a reliable connection.

Ofcom License Exempt Cel-Fi Signal Boosters

Cel-Fi has a range of mobile signal solutions available for any size building. The Cel-Fi commitment is to protect the operator’s network, deliver the best in-building mobile performance, and be the easiest solution to install. Unlike other unlawful products on the market, Cel-Fi products are currently the only mobile signal boosters available on the market that can be used without a licence and that fully comply with the regulatory requirements set out in Ofcom IR 2102 (UK).

Cel-Fi mobile signal boosters are a cost-effective and quick-to-install solution that can provide a stable and reliable mobile connection for voice and data. Consisting of three units: a reception antenna, a signal booster, and an internal rebroadcast antenna. The external antenna collects the best mobile signal from outside and transmits it to a mobile signal booster unit which strengthens the signal and retransmits it inside.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your home or business stay connected, without the need for broadband.

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