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Vodafone Sure Signal puts a mobile phone mast in your sitting room

The Vodafone Sure Signal is a femtocell that gives you your own private 3G signal when connected to your broadband connection

Why is the mobile phone signal in our house like a holiday in Saudi Arabia? They've both got no bars. Honk! So we're happy to see Vodafone's signal-boosting femtocell, the Vodafone Sure Signal.

Previously known as the Vodafone Home Gateway, the Sure Signal plugs into your home broadband connection and beams out a bubble of 3G goodness. That means no more missed calls in your lead-lined bunker or basement taxidermy lab.

To keep your nosy neighbours from piggybacking on your signal, your phone number must be registered with Vodafone to use the Sure Signal. Up to 32 people can be registered and four people can use it at any one time. You can use broadband from any company.

If you're already on Vodafone, the gadget costs £50 for people on £25 or more Vodafone contracts, and £120 for everyone else. If you get the Sure Signal with a new phone contract, it'll add at least £5 a month to your bill, depending on what tariff you're on.

We'd like to see it even cheaper, for two reasons -- it's locked to Vodafone, so you're even more tied to your contract, and you're paying for the broadband it uses to keep you connected. Vodafone isn't even offering a discount on calls, texts and data that you use when you're on the Sure Signal's network instead of clogging up the Vodafone spectrum.

Nevertheless, if you struggle with signal and you're desperate for a boost, the Sure Signal is easy to set up and use. Just plug it into power and broadband, register your number online with Vodafone, and you're good to go.

We'll be running a full test in our local bomb shelter, but in the meantime we want to hear from you -- are femtocells a boon or a bust? Let us know in the comments.