Kathy Gibson at AfricaCom, Cape Town – Ericsson is showcasing its new Radio Dot technology at AfricaCom this week, demonstrating a new way of extending the mobile network indoors.

The device is a disk-shaped cellular radio that is small enough to fit into a person’s hand, delivering mobile broadband access to users.

Frederik Jejdling, head of Ericsson sub-Sahara African region, explains that up to 80 dots can be connected to one radio unit in a fully integrated and cost efficient way.

“There are 14 patents on this product,” he tells IT-Online. “It solves the issue of poor coverage indoors.”

As consumers begin to use mobile networks to consume higher end applications like video, he points out that performance can become an issue – and this is especially true indoors.

The Radio Dot lets operators extend their coverage to give consumers good throughput even in indoor areas where the network performance is traditionally poor.

Jejdling anticipates that Radio Dot technology could become part of building design in the future, as well as being retrofitted to existing buildings.