Software Radios Boost Crappy Cellphone Reception Cheap and Easy

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Mid-Tex Cellular systems out of De Leon, Texas is currently running both GSM and CDMA network using a software-based radio system on nine of of their cellular towers. Because the Vanu, Inc. designed software can be upgraded easily, there is no need for costly new hardware when supporting new or incompatible networks. If this technology is widely adopted, cellphone carriers will be able to upgrade and adjust to new standards more cheaply and users will see bigger, better, and possibly cheaper coverage.

Currently, Vanu is looking to expand their business outside of Texas with 200 towers set to go up in Alaska. They have also announced a prototype of a "femtocell" device —a base station of sorts for a single house or office. The plan is to use the device with the 700-MHz spectrum band that is coming up for auction from the FCC in January 2008. [Wired]