Vodafone's VAG will boost your indoor mobile signal

24 June 2009

There’s nothing worse than having a mobile phone that you can’t get a signal for within the comfort of your own home. Having to find that ‘sweet spot’ within your abode in order to have a conversation with someone is about as annoying as it gets.

Surely the profit-happy networks should be doing something to strengthen the signal so that you can, you know, use your phone as though it’s a, you know, a fucking phone? Now they have, or at least Vodafone have.

Their boffins have pioneered the Vodafone Access Gateway, a small router-type gizmo that plugs into your home broadband line and gives you an added blast of 3G signal. Which should mean no more standing on your bed and leaning towards the window just to order a takeaway.

Better still, it’ll only cost you £160 and it can even support up to four… hang on a minute… £160? What the fuck? Yes, it says here that the VAG (oh heavens) will indeed set you back £160, or you can get it free as part of a £15 per month price plan or on a monthly charge of £5.

So because they’re spending their money plastering stickers all over Lewis Hamilton’s useless car instead of putting up more masts, you have to fork out a small fortune for a VAG that will do the job instead. At this point, we'd normally link to the VAG site, but there's nothing there. Fannies.

[Mirror]

TOPICS:   Mobile

35 comments

  • Amanda H.
    I would buy this for my dad as he has to literately hang out his flat window to talk. Only, the reason he uses his mobile in the first place is so that he doesn't have to pay for BT Line Rental, otherwise he'd call me from that!? Why would a mobile phone company make this booster require a land line, stoopid.
  • > H.
    £160 for a box what looks like a 'generic' air freshener? Fookin' bargain!
  • > H.
    1 thing Andy, are you on per post rate? You seem to slap more on this blog while the others are dicking about with posts about the fuckin*g iPhone or fuckin*g airlines!
  • Me
    Surely if you can't get a signal for a call on vodafone, why not just switch networks??? £160 quid - they gotta be kidding..
  • Tom P.
    Bit stupid really, why can't they just stick more aerials on top of old peoples homes and primary schools.
  • AJH
    Well I live on the top of a hill, right alongside a Royal Park. Two things that equal zero phone reception, on any network. I'm not even out in the stix, I'm rather local to a major tennis tournament currently occurring. I'm not sure I'd invest £160 in this as I must say I quite enjoy having a quiet life for the few hours I'm actually able to be at home due to work commitments. But I can see the benefit, and I'm pretty sure that work would love to invest in it so they can actually reach me whilst said relaxation is going on. Maybe its a good way of blagging them to pay for my broadband? :)
  • Junkyard
    Pro-tip: use your damn landline, it's cheaper. Oh wait, you have a crapload of free minutes to use up, because you're shelling out £30 a month to get a so-called "free" handset? Well boo-fucking-hoo.
  • adam
    junkyard... Standard daytime calls to a mobile on BT landline is 12.23p/min. 600 mins to a mobile costs £73.38 + Line rental (about £12/month) so my voda contract which costs me £27/month not only saves me £46.38 i also get unlimited sms messages, a £300 phone and free unlimited data. I fail to see why calling on my landline is cheaper??
  • No b.
    Actually these are a VERY good idea that all the major networks have been looking at for quite a while now but the cost has always been prohibitive. I've been waiting for years for someone to come up with them. Wonder if they'll work in low speed broadband areas though
  • adam
    i bet these are stashed within the vodafone stores as soon as possible so they can show lovely 3G signal when they blag you into buying a phone, as soon as your out the door BAMM no signal :D
  • No b.
    Adam they'll most likely have been doing that with picocells which do the same thing without using your broadband. Supermarkets use them so that their price scanners and things can connect up to each other. the Vodafone thing is a femtocell which is basically a picocell that does other things as well (the router part) and theyve been in america for a year or so already and i've just checked, yes the quality will be affected by your broadband which in my opinion makes these things near enough pointless. If I live out in the sticks so I cant get a signal then obviously i'm not going to have the best broadband around am i
  • Dank
    What an absolute joke. £160 to improve their piss-poor network coverage due to their incompetence to cover my area properly? Where do I sign?!!
  • The B.
    I heard that Orange, O2 and 3 are releasing rival versions in retaliation, they'll be called the 3 Quims, the Orange Snatch and the O2 Gash.
  • anon
    The stupidity of the poster and the commenters never ceases to amaze me. Can you not read? Its free for people on contracts paying £15 or more. Idiots, bloody idiots, read the damn thing before you post your self righteous crap. At least I have.
  • mark
    mmmmm, gash!
  • > H.
    "At least I have." - What, read it before you posted your self righeous crap? Bob, don't forget T-Mobile's CUNT
  • > H.
    CUNT - Cellular Uniform Nominal Transmitter
  • Dank
    Anon: yes I can read. But lets see here. If you're a new customer you're not going to know until you get home that the network coverage where you live is a load of tosh. I can't see Vodafone being too keen to then hand you one of these for free - so an extra £5 on top of your tariff will probably need to be added to get one. The only real way you're going to know if one is required is probably when you come to renew your contract. In which case they'll no doubt use this as a bargaining tool, instead of offering you any extra minutes/texts or a half-decent headset.
  • Kentboy
    Femtocells - which these are - use your broadband as backhaul for your communications on the mobile. They don't use much bandwidth though. A bigger worry is that people walking past your house who use vodafone may be able to use your box to boost their calls. What will also happen is that calls will be occasionally dropped as you leave the home femtocell zone and pass into your local picocell.
  • juankerr
    Telephonic Wide Area Transmitter.
  • swampy_donkey
    The 3 network have been doing something similar to these for mobile broadband users, theyre about £69.99
  • M.B.C
    I'd never pay for VAG ;-)
  • Anon
    @Dank, get a free PAYG vodafone simcard to check the signal. Problem solved. And READ IT AGAIN @DANK, 'set you back £160, *OR* you can get it free as part of a £15 per month price plan *OR* on a monthly charge of £5.' See the *OR*? Which means its free for pay monthly on >£15 tarriff, or you can pay £160, or you can pay £5 per month if you are on say PAYG or on a tarriff less than £15. If people can't solve simple problems like this Britain is seriously screwed, in the coming future where innovation and ingenuity are going to be a countries natural resources. (not having a go at you - apologies if I have offended you @Dank - but I'm sure you see my point, me gets frustrated when people are screaming and shouting about something they haven't even bothered to read.)
  • James R.
    I worked on the test team for this over 3 years and it was complete shit then - maybe they've changed the sticker since then to make it less crap....!
  • pauski
    The Real Bob.... Absolute GENIUS...lol But you missed the obvious - I have the Virgin Box - have not used it yet, I've got good coverage! I might try it out tonight - if it's crap, I will let you know it might have to renamed Shit Box.
  • pauski
    Just tied (tried) my Virgin Box coverage - works very well, on the downside I am moving home soon, and I don't think I can use may box in Brasil, apparently no coverage.
  • bob
    According to Vodfone Customer care they dont know nothing about this! Good evening Mr. Bob, I'm sorry to tell you that, as of now we don't have any information about the new product that has been launched. Mr. Bob, you may manually roam your phone to find a stronger signal. This is easy to do though depending on the make and model of your phone, some of the menu options might be different. You need to go to your settings menu then phone settings. Select network or operator settings then choose ‘manual’. When you see a list of networks, choose a different one to Vodafone. Once you’ve done this, repeat and choose Vodafone. So that we can help you further or reply giving the following information: In what area is the problem happening? When did the problem start? Has the problem happened before? Is anyone else affected?
  • rb
    O2 > *
  • Lee
    Hi Bob, I've just seen your post and am keen to help you with getting your queries answered. As you'll be aware Vodafone Access Gateway is a new proposition due to be officially launched on 1st July. Naturally all Vodafone sites will have been briefed on this, however, there will inevitably be some fall out where some staff members may have missed this information. In regard to the email you've received I'll get this addressed with our Email Contact Centre to make sure so that they can pick up this possible knowledge gap within their area. Should you have a query about Vodafone Access Gateway and the quality of the network in your area then I'm sure you'll be able to get your answers by visiting our eForum which provides technicial support with all of our products and services. To access the eForum just use this link http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/. Kind regards, Lee Web Relations Team Vodafone UK
  • VAGUser
    I have one of these in my home office as part of the VAG trail.... (who ever came up with that acronym was having a laugh that day, bet they where part of the Technical Infrastructure Team Services !) I would not get too excited about this yet, the idea is brilliant and when is works is great. Unfortunately the reliability is pants, even when you have what looks to be a good signal you cannot connect. Often when one device works another will show network unavailable, Vodafone have a long way to go to get this in a reasonable working condition for market release. I am sure however this will be release to the general public to suffer on behalf of Vodafone in the name of testing!!! VAGUser HTC Magic - the future is Android BB Bold - Solid cannot go wrong... just works all the time Nokia E51 - solid too Dell Mini 9 - small but good.. except the shift ket on the left is too small for my fat fingers!!!
  • salparadise
    Synchronized Latent Intermittent Transmitter coming soon on 3UK
  • Adell S.
  • blandy
    since vodaphone announced this my signal has dropped at home and i dont even get a signal now in asda or sainsburys any more sux big style
  • bigtim
    what a bunch of tossers your all shouting the odds about usage and cost and not one of you has a ferkin clue my box was free it takes upto 31 users that have to be registered with each box it does us a good chuink of bandwidth you can make 4 calls at once it does not like virgin broadband over cable for some reason which is why i looked on here for answers how stupid of me what a bunch of brainless dick heads you are you have guest this is my first and last post!
  • Foxy
    There used to be UMA, is there not a clever person out there who can make a voice call work over a normal wi fi radio access point advice thanks

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