It’s been a good few months since we looked at the Orange Signal Boost technology. Now it’s available in more and more handsets on Orange and solves that “in building coverage problem” you may have experienced. During my completely unscientific research, I’ve found that networks using the 900MHz frequency (O2 and Vodafone) tend to fair better in buildings than their competitors. I’ve found that coverage in places like datacentres and open-plan offices can batter signal strength, so Orange Signal Boost or “UMA” tries to solve this.
The technology, by Kineto, hooks onto any WiFi hotspot and channels your voice calls, text and picture messages through the wireless access point. If someone calls you, it’s on the same number – nothing changes – you just get a much better signal in areas that you wouldn’t normally.
There’s a minor issue – the “handover” between the WiFi hotspot and the GSM network will not work seemlessly while you’re on a call, so if you answer a call while the Signal Boost is connected to WiFi you can’t walk outside and out of WiFi range and expect the call to carry on.
That said, Kineto have announced a Smart VoIP app is downloadable. This gives an “Over The Top” VoIP service to challenge the likes of Skype and Google Voice.
Here’s another look at the technology and how it can help you in those patchy signal areas..