Traditionally we have always accepted that cell reception in-doors is going to be terrible. Here at htxt.africa a few of our writers have to dash outside when they receive calls to avoid the terrible “can you hear me, how about now, CAN YOU HEAR ME!?” exchange.

The journey a signal takes from your nearest cell tower to your mobile is fraught with obstacles like concrete, metals, and other radio signals. The result is that it can take longer than usual for an IM to send or even cause that YouTube video of cats you’re streaming to drop altogether.

The folks over at Huawei and Cell C didn’t like this and have begun rolling out LampSite technologies in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

LampSites work as a middle-man that push LTE, UMTS and GSM signals through the obstacles between the user and the cell tower.

Solutions such as wireless access points have helped keep users connected indoors for some time now but LampSites will help users access the internet make and receive calls and improve the mobile broadband experience.

Every phone is this array is using a mobile connection to play HD video without lag or stuttering, on a mobile connection, indoors.
Every phone is this array is using a mobile connection to play HD video without lag or stuttering, on a mobile connection, indoors.

Jessica Li, Director of wireless marketing at Huawei explains “When we watch videos over a mobile connection indoors we sometimes feel that its slow and our experience is not good. Thats because the older system cannot support the users and capacity and coverage so it affects our experience. Two LampSite’s can improve this experience for 20 users and enjoy a better experience.”

Huawei discovered that in countries like Russia and South Africa – where temperatures can flit between extremes – many people spend time indoors and their mobile data experience is less than ideal.

For this reason Huawei has partnered with Cell C to offer Lampsite solutions combined with small cell technology and bring an improved user experience to all.

Shoppers at Sandton City and two other large Johannesburg malls, that weren’t explicitly named, are currently enjoying the benefits of this technology and the first application in Cape Town is being used for the AfricaCom conference this week.

According to Li, LampSites are easy to install but can increase coverage by as much as 40% and speeds by more than 50% indoors.

The Chinese firm plans roll out additional LampSites in both cities aggressively in 2016 now that Cell C has joined them. Of course Cell C is directly affected by poor signal quality and solutions such as this that have been successfully used in buildings packed with people, such as the Huawei UK offices would go a long way to improving user experience.

[Image CC by 2.0 – Matt Reinbold]