This is a message to try and assist those poor souls who have bought this box from Vodafone. Hope it helps.
Q: Do I need to have a Vodafone signal at all to use Sure Signal?
A: No. This box uses your broadband service only and acts as a stand-alone cell in its own right.
Q: Will Sure Signal work with any mobile 'phone?
A: No. It is restricted to certain handsets and only those on the Vodafone network. No other carrier will work with this device.
Q: Will Sure Signal work with my existing broadband router?
A: This is more difficult to answer as the system has some complexities which are not available in all router devices. You need to be able to set up a VPN link between the box and the Vodafone back office servers. If your router cannot or dies not support VPN connectivity, then the system will not work. You may also find that certain broadband suppliers such as AOL may not work for similar reasons. We have checked it with the BT broadband routers (the black ones) and these work without issue as well as Belkin N series and recent Netgear routers - al successfully.
Q: Will Sure Signal guarantee me a signal at home/work?
A: Again, this is difficult to answer as Vodafone has had extensive problems with both their back-office systems and their front line support personnel. Essentially, the performance of the box is totally dependent on the availability of the Vodafone back office servers to establish the VPN service between your box and their systems. If their servers are not running, then your box will show errors and there is nothing you can do about it. What compounds this issue is that the support staff rarely have any in-depth knowledge of the product and will blame anything other than their systems for the failures. The key message here is to check with the Vodafone User Forums before making any calls and also to leave your unit alone if it was working before - in our experience the system will come back once Vodafone stops messing around at their network end.
Q: I have been told that I must turn off my 3G setting if I do not have a signal at all in my area - why?
A: This is total rubbish and we have heard this countless times from people who do not know how femtocells work. The only benefit that 2G gives over 3G is battery saving and lower data rates. Your Sure Signal uses your broadband service to give you access to the Vodafone network - whether you use 2G or 3G is irrelevant to its operation.
Q: Can I get a Sure Signal style product from any other carrier?
A: The only one that we are aware of is available from Orange, but is not the same thing at all. O2 and T-Mobile do not appear to have any offering and asking about femtocells in their shops is only useful if you like to see the look of confusion.
Q: Is this worth the money?
A: It depends on your view point. If you need access - regardless of stability, then for £50 it is not bad value. If you are taking out a contract against it, I would advise against it - the technology is there, but the front end knowledge and backup is not. On balance, when it is working it is great, but when it is not, you are left in no-man's land until Vodafone sorts out its problems and this can take a LONG time.
Q: How long does it take to get the box working straight out of the box?
A: Assuming you have registered it and got your acknowledgement from Vodafone and that your broadband service is correctly configured for use, it can take anything from 1 to 24 hours for the box to become stable and useable.
Q: How do I know when it is useable?
A: LEDs one, two and four are stable. LED three is only flashing when your handset or a guest handset is on the system. Any other combination of LED flashing sequence indicates a problem.
I hope that this helps you all when using this device.