Mobile phones. Can’t live without them, can’t…well…er…you certainly can’t run an event without them. Mobile phone coverage continues to be a pain point for many customers. It’s normally the same story; everything is fine in the run up to the event but once the attendees arrive, making a call, using mobile internet or even sending an SMS becomes unreliable.

Telecoms operators may install temporary masts at larger events (for varying commercial arrangements) however in many cases these are only linked back to the local town, which may already be near capacity and therefore only compound the problem. Generally the mobile network in the area simply isn’t designed to handle a ‘density spike’ such as a large gathering of handsets all communicating more than is ‘normal’. For smaller and more remote events the situation is even worse, where often there is no coverage at all.

Shouting at the phone may not help

Shouting at the phone doesn't actually help, it just makes you feel better

Providing high density mobile coverage is a complex area, but  a femtocell can help keep key staff connected via their mobile no matter what else is going on with the normal mobile network. Femtocell technology is essentially a miniature cell phone mast for a pre-approved list of people. The unit can be linked to the internet services on site and route a number of concurrent calls for the authorised handsets as if they were on the normal mobile phone network. With a range of 150m radius it’s the perfect unit to have at a production enclosure, box office or artist/VIP area.

The pre-approved handsets can be added in a matter of seconds, whilst the unit itself is outdoor ruggedised so can be installed on the same infrastructure which carries other services such as site Wi-Fi, like for example our communications tower light.  So what’s the catch? It’s only Vodafone handsets which will work with the unit today. Although not ideal it does at least provide a way of continuing to use the service, regardless of everyone around watching their bars disappear. For non-Vodafone handsets temporary Vodafone SIMs can be provided.

The femtocell has been added to our 2011 services along with some other additional voice communication products such as a specialised wireless handset which integrates with existing VoIP services,  all designed to keep an event operations team functioning smoothly.