Virgin Media O2 is the first mobile operator to try the new technology
Virgin Media O2 is the first provider to successfully test a new mobile signal boosting technology. The system, called Neutral Host In-Building (NHIB), is designed to boost the signal indoors for 4G and 5G networks. This is used in business and public places so you don’t lose the signal in parking garages, shopping malls, offices and more.
Although Virgin Media O2 was the first to test NHIB, the technology will work on all mobile networks. So if the signal booster system is installed in your local library or train station, your 4G signal from Three or Vodafone will be upgraded so you can continue to send text messages, answer WhatsApp messages and make calls indoors.
The first test was conducted in London’s Canary Wharf at an unspecified site.
With one trial behind us, we should expect more mobile carriers to continue testing this new technology. As millions of people leave their homes and return to the office, bringing strong 4G and 5G signals across public and commercial buildings is paramount. While there are often public Wi-Fi networks available — many of which are free to join — they often require users to hand over some personal information, including name, email address, and phone number in order to gain access.
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That’s not something everyone will be comfortable with. If your device doesn’t have a VPN activated, gadgets could be vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack, where a scammer connected to the same Wi-Fi network could intercept traffic from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. including important details such as payment information during the checkout process, text messages and more.
Relying on your existing 4G or 5G network in a busy public building removes that risk.
The new system, which will work on all networks, will boost the 4G and 5G signal indoors
Speaking about the successful trial by Virgin Media O2, director of radio engineering for the company, Omar Calvo said: “Customer experience and mobile connectivity are at the heart of our values and the businesses we support. To deliver a great Virgin Media O2 network experience in buildings , we work with several industry partners, including Freshwave, to build state-of-the-art shared in-building solutions for small cells.
“This technology is aligned with the new JOTS Neutral Host In-Building (NHIB) specification, an initiative led by Virgin Media O2. I am proud to say that Virgin Media O2 is the first mobile network operator in the UK to supports live calls on NHIB small cells and we see this as an exciting milestone for Virgin Media O2 and we believe it will change the way mobile coverage is delivered in offices and covered public locations.”
With any luck, we’ll hear more about the progress of this industry-standard technology soon.
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