Smarter Mobile Solutions today announced the re-launch of its “SmarterSURVEY” for UK businesses, delivering accurate and factual data on mobile signal strength of all the major mobile operators in the UK

Nov. 21, 2014 - NEWBURY, U.K.  Between them, the phone operators tell businesses they’ve got Britain covered, is that really true? The facts are that there are lots of black spots where your employees can’t get a signal. It can be a real issue if employees are on the move and even worse if a business has signed up to a long contract that they can’t get out of.  Businesses could be paying for phones that they don’t actually use.

Research by the Federation of Small Businesses found 71% of businesses rated mobile phones as crucial or very important to their business.The survey also found that 51% of businesses said their staff had a problem with mobile coverage very or quite often. Indeed, a survey commission by YouGov found that 39% of managers responsible for IT decisions found they had issues with poor mobile phone coverage and/or capacity in their premises, and 35% would move networks to guarantee a better indoor solution.All the mobile phone operators (and Ofcom the regulator) have a website that show mobile coverage by postcode, however, this is often a general view based solely on a computer simulation of coverage, it is not actually measured; and certainly does not offer any real information about what coverage a business can expect INSIDE their premises.Given the advent of 4G, an increasing reliance upon “cloud computing” and operators being more focused upon rolling out new data oriented services, it is even more important for businesses to be able to make a decision on which operator to choose based upon their actual performance in a specific location, especially if the company contract is coming up for renewal.With the SmarterSURVEY businesses can now find out the true situation by purchasing a report from Smarter Mobile that measures signal strength and signal quality. This ensures that a business get the full picture and no longer has to rely upon a salesman’s assurances or a computer simulated map from a web site.  Businesses can now be in a position to know if they are on the right mobile network at their location or if there is a better alternative?  Businesses can ensure they renew their contract with the best operator that meets their specific needs or decide to switch to an alternative operator that better serves them.

What do businesses get?

1. A professional written report that contains actual measurements of signal strength and call quality taken throughout the premises;

2. Displays of the outdoor coverage obtained from a walk around outside the premises;

3. Displays of the indoor coverage obtained from a walk around inside the premises; and

4. Copies of the published coverage maps from all MNOs for the location so they may compare real figures to those claimed by the operators.

All of this is designed to put businesses in a position to make an informed decision over the correct choice of mobile operator.

For more information on how to obtain a SmarterSURVEY for your business, contact Smarter Mobile today.

Contact
Caroline Walton
0203 189 1965
caroline.walton@smartermobile.com


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Brazilian providers of mobile telephony services have signed agreements with the management of the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo and the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba for the deployment of indoor mobile coverage for spectators of men’s football World Cup matches. However, delays in releasing the stadia for the commencement of works will make it difficult to install the internal mobile telephony infrastructure. The indoor coverage will provide voice and data services using 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. To install the coverage, Claro, Oi, Nextel, Tim and Vivo partnered to for a single project, with shared infrastructure and investments. The total investment planned for the twelve stadia is BRL 200 million for the placement of indoor coverage.

Telenor has deployed Huawei LampSite indoor small cell solution to enhance in-building mobile network coverage in the company’s corporate headquarters in Oslo.

This will be an important milestone for significantly accelerating large-scale LTE development in Norway.

Earlier, the U.K. headquarters of Huawei also implemented the Huawei LampSite indoor small cell solution.

Huawei’s LampSite solution provides targeted indoor coverage performance enhancements to provide a better mobile broadband experience, increase business productivity for enterprises, and cultivate development of new data services and new subscribers.

The solution is designed to be more scalable, flexible, as well as easier to deploy and manage compared to traditional distributed antenna system (DAS) solutions.

The LampSite system provides comprehensive in-building mobile network coverage with an array of small ceiling-mounted radio access units (pico Remote Radio Units or “pRRU”) installed on every floor of an office building.

The solution supports multiple modes and bands, multiple-input multiple output (MIMO) transmissions, and provides higher spectrum efficiency to realize a seamless service experience indoors and outdoors. The result for operators is long-term gains with a one-time site deployment and investment.

Source: TelecomLead

SoftBank Mobile starts a trial intended to bring benefit to its customers using new ultra-compact indoor small cell, Ericsson Radio Dot System in enterprise buildings and public venues

– Innovative indoor coverage and capacity solution provides seamless indoor and outdoor user experience across LTE and WCDMA networks

– Elegant, easy-to-install solution enables operators to address mobile enterprise growth opportunity

Ericsson  announced today that SoftBank Mobile Corp (“SoftBank Mobile”), one of Japan’s leading operators, will trial the Ericsson Radio Dot System to improve the user experience in the face of increasing demand for indoor coverage and capacity for its mobile network.

Junichi Miyakawa, Executive Vice President, Director and CTO, SoftBank Mobile, says: “This trial using Ericsson Dot System, with a purpose of materializing highly connectable indoor mobile broadband, has great potential for our consumers. It combines a revolutionary antenna architecture and sleek design, which give us installation flexibility in a broad range of deployment scenarios. It also has a fully integrated management approach consistent with the WCDMA and LTE networks, enabling us to have better operation and maintenance with fewer resources to the system.”

More information : Marketwatch

Small cells boost ultra-broadband coverage in both indoor and outdoor locations to deliver high quality service to subscribers

Alcatel-Lucent today announced the deployment of its small cell solutions in the Verizon Wireless network. The Alcatel-Lucent small cells are being deployed in indoor and outdoor locations to help ensure subscribers have the LTE coverage and capacity they demand at popular outdoor venues and in dense metropolitan areas.

Small cells are a critical component of LTE ultra-broadband deployments as they enable operators to boost coverage and capacity in busy areas such as shopping malls, sports stadiums and high-traffic areas. By bringing the connection closer to the end user, small cells assure an exceptional mobile ultra-broadband experience including enriched multimedia services wherever consumers are located.

Verizon Wireless’ deployment of Alcatel-Lucent’s small cells solution is a primary example of an industry transformation in network architecture that will include large scale integration of small cells as part of a heterogeneous network (Hetnet).

source: IT Businessnet

 

Vodafone UK has launched its Sure Signal Premium service for medium and large businesses who need high-quality, seamless 3G and Ultrafast 4G mobile coverage throughout their workplace.

Unlike previous indoor mobile coverage solutions, Vodafone has suggested that the Sure Signal Premium can be installed rapidly and securely connects to the Vodafone network. It is designed to provide a platform for future enterprise with support for location-based analytics and mobile device management.

With the growing use of smartphones and other smart devices in the workplace, not only for voice but increasingly for enterprise apps, businesses depend on high-quality, high-speed 3G and Ultrafast 4G* capacity throughout their workplaces. Research has shown that around two-thirds of mobile usage is indoors, and employees expect to be fully connected and available on their mobile devices wherever they are.

“The rise of the smartphone, mobile apps and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the workplace means high-quality, high-speed indoor coverage is no longer just a nice-to-have for business,” said Fergal Kelly, CTO at Vodafone UK. “With Sure Signal Premium, large businesses can satisfy rising indoor capacity and coverage demands in a highly integrated, well managed way. This new service is just one benefit from the £900m we spent last year on our fixed and mobile network in the UK. This is one of the reasons 72% of FTSE 100 companies choose Vodafone to meet their communications needs.”

Intended for businesses with 320 or more employees and more than 3,200 square metres of floor space, the solution can scale up to support many thousands of users. It can be installed as quickly and easily as WiFi and seamlessly self-configures to provide perfect voice and data service. Vodafone’s expertise means customers will receive a robust design, delivery and installation service, leaving them with the best possible coverage and capacity setup for their unique building layout.

As the only UK company to own an integrated fixed and mobile network, Vodafone is ideally positioned to provide the best possible connection for large businesses. Through innovative Sure Signal technology that is both robust and secure, we’re giving businesses the power of smarter communications and an always connected workforce.

We’re keen to hear from anyone who’s had this system installed, please leave us your comments and views..

A study commissioned by UK regulator Ofcom said mobile coverage inside buildings is under threat from a number of factors over the next few years, including the use of higher frequency bands.

Other factors include stricter building regulations, poorer device sensitivity in multi-band smartphones and growing user expectations, according to the study conducted by Real Wireless.

However, the good news is that mobile operators are tackling the problem as shown by recent announcements from UK operators aboutf how they plan to extend indoor coverage. Both Vodafone and O2 have said they will reach 98 per cent indoor data coverage by end 2015.

The study identifies a number of options such as MIMO antenna deployment and allocation of sub 1GHz spectrum that could deepen in-building coverage.

However, in certain circumstances due to variations in construction materials and building shapes, delivering a mobile signal does become problematic.

Moreover, users increasingly demand high-quality indoor coverage particularly for data consumption.

source: Mobile World Live 

The news came as Norfolk County Council revealed that its Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, which also involves the government and BT, was running ahead of schedule.

By the end of December, it had given fibre broadband infrastructure to 22,335 properties – more than 2,500 more than it was contracted to do by this date.

The national Mobile Infrastructure Project, a £150m scheme to provide mobile phone mast infrastructure in ‘not spot’ clusters, had previously identified the A143 between Great Yarmouth and Haverhill as one of 10 trunk roads in the country that needed investment.

Although 12 new clusters of Norfolk ‘not spots’ have been identified, the council said it was not allowed to say where they were because their locations were shared under a non-disclosure agreement.

There was also uncertainty about what, if anything, would be done to bring mobile phone coverage to these areas.

A report to tomorrow’s Environment, Transport and Development Panel said they had been assessed for accessibility, as well as numerous environmental aspects, and a meeting had been due to be held with district planners on February 19

The results of the meeting are unknown.

Source : EDP24 

More than 100 Daily Post readers got in touch about problems with mobile services across the region People across North Wales are experiencing problems with their mobile phone signal Mobile phone coverage in  North Wales remains a “nightmare” and not-spots in the  region are deterring businesses.

Those are the views of  people across North Wales  who got in touch to slam the  “dreadful” service after a report by the Daily Post last week. The problems with Vodafone  led to a deluge of similar  complaints on social media.

Customers said they had  been left for days with no  coverage at all, while others  complained of geographic  “not-spots” where phone signal disappears. Mobile phone providers acknowledged that mountainous and remote areas can  present challenges, but said  they are spending millions  every day on improving services and hope to bring 3G to  almost the entire population  within a few years. William Davies, owner of  IT services company Interwebi Limited, spoke to the  Daily Post about his struggle  with poor mobile service. He said: “O2 drops out frequently in Talacre and EE has  a poor signal in Prestatyn.  This affects both my offices –  and therefore my business –  in a bad way when businesses  can’t get through with their  urgent IT problems. It’s an  awful service. “At times, the signal drops  out entirely. We would get  emails from customers saying  they’d tried to call but  couldn’t get through. It puts  us in an awkward position. “We’ve ended up spending  money to create alternative  ways for customers to get in  touch. “I’ve heard people say that  businesses have stayed away  from the area because they  can’t rely on the communications.”

The Daily Post has also been backing the advancement of net speeds in Wales with our Up to Speed campaign.   A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: “Although we work  hard to make sure customers  can use their phones when  and where they want to, the  nature of communications  technology means that we  cannot guarantee a fault-free  service at all times. “Various things can affect  the signal, many of them beyond our control such as  power outages and severe  weather. “In some parts of the country, accessing sites for repair  can be more difficult than  others – especially when  masts are situated in mountainous or remote areas. “In terms of coverage generally, it will vary and will  depend on several factors including whether hills and  mountains adversely affect  the signal, how easy it is to  build and maintain a mast,  and how many people are  living in a particular location. “We are always looking to  improve coverage and capacity.  We are currently spending £2.5m a day on improvements to the network. Over  the next few years, we aim to  bring good indoor 3G coverage to 98% of people.”

A spokesman for O2 said:  “Despite the challenges of the  natural landscape when it  comes to building sites in the  area, we are constantly evaluating opportunities to increase or create coverage.

“The Mobile Infrastructure  Project, launched by the Government, is investing £150m  to bring mobile services to  rural  ‘not spots’ areas and  we’re very much part of this.  In addition to this, we’ve invested over £1bn in our network over the past few years  and we’ll continue to invest  £1.5m each day to improve our  network and services on 2G,  3G and 4G services. “Since 2012, we started to  jointly operate and manage a  single network grid in the UK  with Vodafone which will  consolidate the basic physical  infrastructure. This allows us  to reach more far faster.” “We’re unable to confirm specific locations for the rollout of new or upgraded masts.

Customers will be able to use our online coverage checker to gauge what service would be like for indoor/outdoor coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Source ; Daily Post  

A small Herefordshire village is one of 12 so-called “not spots” – residential areas without mobile phone coverage – to join the network on Friday. But how much will it change villagers’ lives?

Ewyas Harold, near the Welsh border, is one of the 2% of places in the UK that cannot get any mobile signal at all – until now.

Three small base stations have been put on the roofs of the pub, the school and the doctors’ surgery.

It is the result of months of campaigning by Graham Powell, a local county councillor.

Mr Powell said he entered local politics because he wanted to improve the phone and broadband coverage in the rural area.

A former telecommunications worker, he took on the job of getting the people of Ewyas Harold behind the idea, which led to the village becoming one of 12 picked from hundreds to take part in the trial run by Vodafone.

He cites emergencies as an important reason for having network coverage, adding: “I’d hate for someone to have an accident and not be able to call for help.”

Mobile trial communities include:

  • Ewyas Harold, Herefordshire
  • East Garston, West Berkshire
  • Newcastleton, Borders
  • Pendine, Camarthenshire
  • Walls, Shetland
  • Witherslack, Cumbria
  • Caldbeck, Cumbria
  • Kinlochard, Perthshire
  • Cranborne, Dorset
  • Three further areas to be announced in 2014

source : BBC News

Eurostar and Le Shuttle passengers will be able to access mobile communications networks in both bores of the Channel Tunnel from March, after Eurotunnel signed a 10-year agreement with UK telecoms companies EE and Vodafone on January 9.

Under the agreement EE and Vodafone customers will be able to access 2G and 3G services in the north running tunnel, which is generally used by trains from the UK to France. Both companies expect to offer 4G data services in the future.

Eurotunnel installed the cabling needed for mobile telecoms coverage during 2011-12 as part of its roll-out of GSM-R for railway use. These cables then needed connecting to the public telecoms companies’ infrastructure at each end of the Channel Tunnel.

French telecoms operators were keen to get connectivity for UK-bound passengers in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games, and from June 2012 Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR began offering GSM-P services in the south running tunnel which is normally used by France – UK trains.

Work to connect the cables in the north running tunnel to the UK telecoms network is now underway for completion by March.

source: Railway Gazette

Russian mobile operator MTS has raised the indoor coverage of its network significantly in the city of Samara this year, reports Samara.ru. The operator has used femtocells for this purpose. The indoor network has been expanded in the Farrini and Maximilyans restaurants, at the Veles-group agro-holding company, at unts of Mars Ars Chocolate Volga and other companies. The operator has also expanded the coverage of its GSM and 3G networks in the cities of Samara, Tolyatti, Neftegorsk, Novokuybyshevsk and Chapayevsk.

Guardian Readers reply in their thousands as they attempt to map the country’s mobile blackspots…

Universal access to superfast internet on a mobile phone is finally becoming a reality. Or is it? All four British networks have begun switching on their 4G masts, but many customers complain they still struggle to get a 3G signal, or even make a phone call.

We asked readers to help map the country’s coverage blackspots, and the 1,600 responses show that whatever the reality, some people believe their existing service has deteriorated since their network switched on 4G.

“Three months ago I lost reception completely in my house,” says Dan Cecchini, whose contract is with Orange. “According to EE [Orange's parent company] it is because a 4G mast went live in my area.” Cecchini’s problem was solved when he was given a booster box to plug in at home, but customers of other networks are reporting similar issues.

Mike, a Vodafone subscriber from Cheddar in Somerset, says his village does not have 3G but uses the Edge service, which offers slower speeds but has always been reliable. Until now. “Since the launch of 4G in other parts of the country the performance of Edge has dropped off a cliff,” he says.

Mark Abraham, on O2 in the north London borough of Harrow, makes a similar observation. “O2 has had poor coverage since starting its 4G services provision,” he says. “What used to work doesn’t, and staff have a standard excuse for problems, blaming a transmitter fault and saying ‘wait until it’s been repaired’.”

In theory, the advent of 4G should mean a better service for most people; networks are investing in better equipment. Vodafone and O2 have promised that their superfast signal will reach into the living rooms of 98% of the population by the end of 2015, and EE reckons on achieving the target a year earlier, by the end of 2014.

Coverage will exceed what has been achieved in the decade since 3G was launched. Today, 80% of the population can get a signal from all of the four operators – EE, O2, 3 and Vodafone – but geographically it remains very patchy, with just 21% of the landmass being served by all four. Nearly 23% of the UK has no 3G at all, and in nearly 13% of the country making any kind of mobile call is impossible.

Joanna in Aberdeen, a city famous for its granite architecture, has been told her house may be the problem. She lives in the centre of town but both voice calls and internet are unreliable. “I contacted O2 about this and they have given me several excuses, including saying it is because I live in a granite building, and problems in the area, but they give no date of when it will be fixed, and it was due to the switchover from 3G to 4G.”

So why should the arrival of 4G impact other services? One answer is that networks have been reorganising their masts. In order to save money, Vodafone and O2 have a mast sharing deal which will increase each network’s coverage by 40%. They will share 18,500 masts, but remove around 2,500 to cut out duplication. Their services will reach more people, but some customers living near a decomissioned mast may suddenly lose coverage.

Source : The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/dec/17/mobile-phone-coverage-4g-3g-signal-complaints-blackspots

UK mobile network operator EE, best known for being the first national provider to offer 4G connectivity, plans to spend £275 million on improving the quality of the humble phone call next year.

The cash will be spent on upgrading 5,000 additional 2G cell sites and doubling capacity on 5,500 3G cell sites around the country. The work will build on improvements that have already been put in place, but will see far more 3G sites upgraded than the 1,600 that were revamped this year. Some of the cash will also go towards trialling new voice technologies like VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and Voice over WiFi.

The news will likely be welcomed by people that are tired of hearing about the latest research into 4G, 5G and beyond, but that can’t get reliable signal for carrying out phone calls – once the primary use for a phone.

Source : http://thenextweb.com/uk/2013/12/13/uk-phone-network-known-4g-tariffs-plans-master-phone-call-2014/#!p0K5l

We get at least 2 or 3 calls a day from British Businesses who have been duped into buying illegal cell enhancer equipment, only to be served notices by OFCOM to remove it asap.

Call Smarter Mobile today to see how some of your existing equipment can be made legal : 0843 289 7749

‘Not spots’ are defined as areas where no mobile coverage is available from any mobile network operators. A list of possible locations for the new mast was presented to councillors last week.

It is “highly likely” the vast majority of the sites will get 3G coverage following the installation, committing to deliver voie and basic data.

The development is part of the Mobile Infrastructure Project, which aims to deliver mobile services in rural areas where market-driven investment is not commercially viable. Masts for operators O2, Vodafone, EE and Three will be erected.

The eleven sites are in Back, Shader, Balivanich, Ranish, Cnoc a’ Chonaisg, Lochboisdale, Upper Carloway, Ardroil, Sollas, Nask and Swainbost.

However these sites are not yet guaranteed, and the installation of masts at these locations will be subject to technical and operational considerations along with acquisition and planning constraints.

The next stage will be Site Search and Report followed by Site Agreement with landowners, Planning Applications and finally, Build and Commission. The aim is for the sites to be acquired and built by 2015.

Read More…

The simple answer to that is NO! 

Recently Ofcom have stepped up their activity with companies who have installed illegal repeaters in their buildings and with the threat of a £5,000 fine and a prison sentence, this is more than enough to make anyone think twice about installing this equipment.

So what can companies do to increase their mobile signals?

The first thing to do is to try to understand the extent of the problem and a good way to do this is to get an independent mobile coverage survey done by an expert.  A mobile survey will tell you how strong the mobile signals are from all the major mobile phone network operators both outside and inside your premises.

Armed with the information from the survey you will then be able to present a case to your existing network operator who may then release you early from your contract. The survey may be able to determine what networks within the area would provide the best signal and you could then simply change providers.

If in the case its a hospital or public building where the building materials have completely blocked any mobile signals from coming in, then you could investigate the costs of installing an enhanced mobile coverage solution or Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) as its called in the industry.

 

 

How many people move office and assume that their mobiles will work at the new location?  Anyone bother to check the coverage from their operator before moving in?  Anyone had that terible Monday morning when you discover there is no coverage in the new office?

Why not commission a coverage check of your new office or premises before moving in?  Find out the coverage from all the UK operators before the big move!  You will know if your mobiles will work or now before that big day.

 

Look at the Smartersurvey product at http://www.smartermobile.com/sNet_survey.php.   Unbiased coverage advice. Perfect for that office move.

I have spent years working with one of the big cellular operators in the UK. Was responsible for putting in signal boosters to improve coverage inside buildings, in tunnels etc. Even wrote the company installation instructions.

Recently I was asked to look at a friends small business that had coverage problems. He needed a signal booster as his coverage in the carpark outside was good. So wrote to his operator (where I use to work) and asked for permisison to install a signal booster. Was planning to use the same units that the operator uses, to the same standard etc.  Got a major shock when the operator’s legal dept wrote back to me and told me in no uncertian terms that my plans were illegal as I did not hold a telecoms license and they would not allow me to do it on their behalf. Their customer with the coverage problems could go and take a run and jump as far as they were concerned.

Ofcom publish guidelines confirming that the operation of private signal boosters in the UK is illeagl as is the installation of such kit. (aiding and abetting an illegal act).  Prison sentences and fines for doing this plus they will confiscate the kit.  See www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/ifi/enforcement/jammers

Ended up tracking down a company called smartermobile (www.smartermobile.com) who can provide legal coverage solutions for SMEs as they have a telecomms license. Their solution may not be economical to personal/private situations but perfect for SMEs and even SoHOs. Solution now installed and everyone happy.   If you have coverage issues look them up and look at their Smarternet product. Their Smartersurvey product is also worth a look as an unbiased independent coverage check.

Decided to buy one of these to provide me with coverage at a remote location. No existing mobile  coverage but do have broadband.

What a nightmare.  There is nothing in the instructions that you have to take down your firewall for up to 3 hours while the Vodafone network discovers your VAP. Calling VF customer call gets you the advice to call your ISP. Off course your ISP knows nothing about the VAP- mine did not and that was BT!  It works at long last but is very flaky!  Just like an AP that requires regular hardware resets! 

Oh, and it will never work on a SKY broadband link or a Broadband link from Orange. 

Anyone else have any similar experiences?  Given up?  I hear Vodafone has a very high return rate- wonder why?

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