Written on 3/12/2010 03:36:00 PM by poison_ivy
Ah yes, even though the UK leads the US in terms of 3G network, there are still some areas in the UK which gets blackspots--you know, those areas in your house or town where your mobile phone signal suddenly goes zilch. Now blackspots isn't really that much of a problem especially those of us who have landlines in our home but it does become an issue when you decide to go wireless, cut your landline connection and rely solely on your mobile phone to connect you to your friends and the rest of the world.
So how do you combat this problem? Enter Vodafone's Sure Signal and Orange's UMA technology to boost your mobile signal. Both services promises to increase your signal inside your home (where most of us experience blackspots). If you're just planning on cutting your landline and rely solely on either mobile networks you might ask, so which service can give me a better signal at home? Which can save me more in the long run? Let's find out.
As to the things needed
In order for Vodafone Sure Signal to work, you need three things: 1) the Vodafone Sure Signal Box, 2) a home broadband connection, and 3) a 3G enabled mobile phone. As for the Orange UMA you also need three things: 1) a UMA enabled mobile phone, 2) a home broadband connection, and 3) a WiFi Router.
As to cost
Both services need a home broadband connection so I'm not going to factor that in. The cost of a Vodafone Sure Signal varies. If you're already an existing customer with £25 a month price plan, you only have to pay a one time fee of £50. If not, it's a one time fee of £120 or £5 a month if you get it at a local Vodafone Store (source). You also need a 3G enabled mobile phone and the cheapest can be found for around £50. Orange's UMA is free provided you have a UMA enabled mobile phone. If you don't have one, the cost of a UMA-enabled mobile phone can range between £149 to £349.99 (if purchased with an Orange plan). You also need a wireless router or have a WiFi connection at home so if you don't have a WiFi Router, you need to purchase one.
Advantages / Disadvantages
The advantage of Orange's UMA technology is that it doesn't have a limit on how many users can use it at home. So long as all users have UMA enabled mobile phones, they can use the service all at the same time. With Vodafone Sure Signal, only four people can use it at the same time. However, the advantage of Vodafone Sure Signal is that you can use 3G services such as mobile broadband on your mobile phone. UMA, from my understanding, only routes normal GSM function over WiFi. Another advantage with Vodafone Sure Signal is that you have more mobile phones to choose from which can use this technology. There are far more choices of 3G enabled handsets compared with UMA mobile phones.
I think, in choosing which service best suits you, you need to answer this question: what are your needs? Do you just need to boost your mobile phone signal at home without the need for a 3G signal? Do you have a UMA enabled phone? If yes, then the easy choice is sign-up for Orange. On the other hand, if you need to have a 3G signal at home then the only choice is Vodafone's Sure Signal. If you're undecided and you just want to get the cheapest service, just look over my cost considerations and don't forget to take into consideration the current handset you have.
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