Virgin unveils plans for mobile masts at home

Written by Antony Leather

December 5, 2011 | 12:04

Tags: #3g

Companies: #virgin-media

Virgin has lifted the lid on its plans to install mini mobile transceivers in people's homes.

The plans come in response to WiFi signals quickly becoming saturated after the huge upsurge in the numbers of smartphones and tablets accessing the net; a domain once dominated by laptops.

According to The Guardian, Virgin Media strategy director Robert Samuelson explained that 'as more pieces of equipment are going to use Wi-Fi and we get into video, there is a risk of the quality of service declining. It's already happening in student halls of residence and hotels.'

Even though Virgin Media offers cable broadband speeds of up 50Mb/sec, this bandwidth can only be guaranteed at the cable socket, and it's apparently being saturated by the sheer number of smartphones, tablets and laptops that can now be found in many households.

With the predicted increase in demand for WiFi bandwidth as more household devices such as boilers and microwaves get connected, another means of providing access to the Internet could well offer benefits.

The miniature masts Virgin plans to use have a range of 100m, and are likely to be used in larger homes and buildings, particularly when the auction for the 4G spectrum is complete. Providing better indoor coverage would be key, as this is a prime location for smartphone and tablet users to switch to WiFi as current 3G signals are usually poor.

Would you accept a 4G transceiver as part of your broadband package? Can you think of other ways to solve WiFi overcrowding? Let us know in the forum.
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