Hands On – O2 BoostBox

A while back we talked about the impending trial from O2 around their femtocell technology – well the box finally arrived and I’m going to show a couple of pictures of the mythical beast.

Firstly we’ll note that IT IS A TRIAL !… this is not for the general public and by invite only at the moment.

Hands On   O2 BoostBox

Secondly, we should note it’s made by Alcatel-Lucent… the same as Vodafone’s cells!

Hands On   O2 BoostBox

Thirdly lets compare that to my Vodafone SureSignal box …. notice anything similar?

Yes that’s it – they’re the SAME model number “9361 Home Cell v2“. How odd?!

Hands On   O2 BoostBox

TBH I’m expecting ‘normal-things’ to happen here, such as 3G reception within the walls of my house (check), and decent voice quality (check).

I’ll be keeping a close eye on this, as femtocells historically have a tendency to drop quality  – purely down to the fact they’re chewing through your home broadband connection, so contention on your exchange will lead to poorer call quality.

Hands On   O2 BoostBoxSo I have SureSignal and BoostBox hooked up to my BT HomeHub3 now – but which one will I prefer? There’s only one way to find out …. F.I.G.H.T…!….


(PS – the logo and shape of the BoostBox sucks IMHO – though it does come with a wall mounting kit unlike the SureSignal)

Android App Review - AVG Antivirus Free
Get the ZTE skate cheap, but be quick!
  • Craig

    Whilst I’m interested in this I thoroughly detest these boxes being pushed upon anyone who dares mention to Customer Service reps that they have bad signal issues.

    Good signal strength and call quality with even a bog standard phone should be the BARE minimum service level expected.  An additional purchase should NEVER be required.

    Vodafone especially need to be held to account for this.

    • I agree with you on this Craig. The amount of money that networks receive from customers means that customers should have a decent signal wherever they go. Its the networks responsibility to expand their network to support the amount of customers they have.

      I wouldnt go and purchase a car which I presumed would be able to go on every road only to find out that actually you cant drive on certain roads as the car doesnt see those! (crap example I know, im very tired this morning!)

      Sort it out networks!

      • Chippenhamcarrot

        So the networks are responsible for you buying an old house with 4ft thick walls in the middle of nowhere? get real, coverage is constrained by lots of things like planning permission etc, you will never get 100% coverage.

        • Guest

          I echo that – I’d much rather pay a small amount for a cell which only I and my family have access to, than pay  larger amounts for a contribution to building base stations shared with other people which might not fix my coverage issues anyway.

          • We are already paying quite a bit for our contracts per month so some of that money could be used to improve network performance or at least mean more areas are availble to make calls / send texts from. Contracts going from 12 months, 18 months to 24 months! Now there must be some cash that can be allocated somewhere!

            I was half asleep this morning so my point could of been explained a bit better!

            The customer having to pay for these femtocell devices, which also use your existing broadband connection to improve your mobile connection I do not agree with.

            However if the networks were to include them for people who either asked or who were in a pretty bad area of reception then would be more acceptable.

            This does however mean that you have to have a decent broadband connection, is that correct? With people suffering from low broadband speeds surely these devices will add more strain and suck up more resources from an already strained broadband network?

            If this was the case then I already get horrendous broadband speeds where I live so I wouldnt want anthing making that worse for me!

      • Wittgenfrog

        Sorry, but whilst that holds good in most areas, I live half-way up a small mountain in Wales, in a small valley.

        Whilst I’d love to get proper reception, it would be costly, and paid for by everyone else too!. 
        A femtocell is the ideal solution for people like me.

  • Keith Day

    SoftBank in Japan and SFR in France both offer femtocells for free.  It makes sense. The customer gets a premium mobile service indoors, whilst the operator benefits from having a happier customer who will make more calls and is less likely to churn.  More on SFR free femto here…http://ubiquisys.com/femtocell-blog/sfr-offers-free-femtocells-to-all-customers-and-changes-everything/

  • Webfx

    How do you add new mobile numbers to the boostbox?

  • Anonymous

    Can you use one box for for 2 phones networks..O2 and Vodaphone….or can you connect 2 boxes to one modem

  • ChrisH

    I have a Sure Signal from Vodaphone and recently changed to O2 foolishly assuming that their performance had improved in the last 2 years. I live in the sticks with tenuous 2G reception at best . O2 admit they have a problem but wont supply a boost box until its ‘proven’. If the boxes are the same can I (how do I) tweak the sure signal to match o2 frequencies etc?

  • bunga_bunga

    soo–any news on whether the boostbox actually works, and if so, how does it compare??

  • Guest

    I don’t get it – why can’t all the networks do what Orange are doing?  I usually have no signal at home but I have an app pre-installed on my phone from Orange called Signal Boost – it connects through my wireless home broadband directly without the need for one of these femtocell boxes and works brilliantly!

  • O2MonG

    I called O2 today – “Send me a femtocell, i have a poor signal and you know it”. They replied with “we can provide you with one at £130. My reply was simpy “I’m not paying for it, you’re sending it and not charging me. That’s how it’s going to be or I’m off”. It’s comingon the 9th. And yes they just complied with my demands, I didnt raise my voice. Make the same demands and get it for nothing.

    • ChrisH,

      Can you remember which department you called. O2 customer suport (LOL) said a month ago that it is not available and anyway they dont know anything about it. my signal is very bad and I’m trapped in a 18 month contract. I have a good BB connection so this has to be the way forward.