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Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 15:23 UK
New kit 'boosts mobile signal'
By Dan Whitworth
Newsbeat technology reporter

Lucy Marks
Lucy Marks has been testing out the new equipment

A new bit of technology which gives people living in mobile phone black spots full reception has gone live.

Called 'Femtocell' it's been released by Vodafone, the first operator in Europe to get it out to customers.

It works by letting users hook up to their mobile network over the internet giving them 100% reception anywhere in their home.

But at £160 it's not cheap - and you need a decent broadband connection to make it work.

Lucy Marks, 23, from Stroud in Gloucestershire, has been testing it.

I don't want to use the landline all the time because calling mobiles costs a fortune - it's a complete nightmare
Lucy

"My house is a bit upside down. You come through the front door and go downstairs to the lounge and kitchen, then upstairs for the bedroom.

"It makes it a nightmare for getting any kind of reception on my mobile."

In fact it's so bad the only place she can get any reception is on her fire escape at the back of her flat.

"It's horrendous. I get so frustrated and so fed up with it.

"I don't want to use the landline all the time because calling mobiles costs a fortune. It's a complete nightmare."

But since she started testing out this new technology about one month ago she's only ever had full signal on her phone.

Femtocell unit
Lucy says she's had full signal all over the house with the new kit

"It's fantastic. I can get full reception anywhere in my house and I'm not worried about missing calls or having to go outside just to send a text message to someone."

Not everyone is convinced though.

Becky from Caerphilly sent a text in to Newsbeat:

"Why should we have to pay extra?

"I live in the south Wales valleys, reception here is patchy in places and the further up the valley you go the worse it gets.

"Why can't the mobile phone companies plough their profits into giving us a better service?"

Vodafone say it's technically impossible and just not cost effective to cover the whole of the UK.

But Lucy reckons if you've got the money, it's worth it.

"Obviously you can't get a good mobile signal everywhere and that's the same for whichever company you are with.

"If they offer it to you - and give you a good price - then personally I think it's fantastic."



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