+ Monday November 18th, 2019


With such a vast land mass to cover, much of it in arid areas Australia has many black spots in terms of coverage for mobile users. Vodafone is looking into options for regional customers with these issues with a successful trial of their Regional Coverage Hub.

The Regional Coverage Hub appears to be a smaller scale Femtocell which attaches to a customers broadband connection to offer 4G voice and data services as well as IoT coverage in areas where service is ‘patchy’.

Vodafone is trialling the devices, recently concluding a six-week trial on a potato farm in Ballarat in Victoria owned by local farmer Scott Dimond, where, using two Regional Hub devices, Vodafone covered an eight square kilometre area with 4G Service.

Vodafone sees the release of the device as a way to provide more choice for customers in regional areas. Vodafone’s Chief Technology Officer Kevin Millroy said

Farmers face a particularly big challenge without reliable mobile coverage across their properties. The ability to make a call and access emails while working, let alone the opportunity to adopt new services and applications, just isn’t there without reliable coverage.

The device measuring 30cm long, 25cm high and 10 cm wide is about twice the size of a standard modem, with Vodafone advising that the unit can be self-installed on a roof or exterior wall, with only a connection to power and an existing broadband connection required. Customers will have to pay for data used to make the calls in line with their contract.

It’s not quite ready for sale as yet, with Vodafone looking to release the device in the second half of 2019 with pricing to be determined closer to launch, though Vodafone has said they aim to ‘make it affordable as possible to it can be easily taken up by regional customers’.

Daniel Tyson  

Daniel Tyson

Daniel is a former editor of Ausdroid, and left in February 2019.

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Fred
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Fred

So, to get this right, Vodafail want you to pay three times (for the device, for data, for your subscription) in order to make up for them not putting up enough antennas to provide a reliable service?

And is this femtocell locked to just you, or is anyone free to connect to it?

Tell you what Voda, you provide the unit for free, and pay for the data, and pay a further subscription fee to me, and I’ll look at your offer of me extending your service…

Fred Flinstone
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Fred Flinstone

Vodafail was a legitmate cop out 6 years ago, time to let that one go Fred. If you did some research Vodafone has attempted multiple times to invest into infrastructure regionally but has been rejected by the ACCC.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Vodafone social media outfit trying some damage limitation ahead of their attempt to merge with TPG?

And I thought it was the courts that told Vodaphone to get lost when they complained that the ACCC didn’t agree with them in their attempt to force others to make up for Vodafail’s lack of investment?

GoodToto
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GoodToto

Good idea but because of the NBN being so bad in rural areas it is unlikely to work well. It is the mobile network that is needed as an alternative to the NBN not mobile over the NBN.

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