Vodafone UK Launches National Programme Focused on Rural Notspots
Published on: 29th Jul 2014
Vodafone UK has launched a national programme giving up to 100 rural communities across the country the opportunity to apply for mobile access.
Vodafone is calling for communities to work together, in partnership with their local MP, to apply for the installation of Vodafone's Open Sure Signal technology in their villages and hamlets and bring Vodafone 3G mobile coverage to their area. In addition to Vodafone's domestic Sure Signal device, up to one million people could have mobile signal in their community.
Vodafone's initial Rural Open Sure Signal trial has so far seen the connection of 12 rural communities across the UK.
Mobile connectivity has been identified by many commentators as playing a vital role in keeping communities in touch and helping to support rural economies. The economics of getting mobile coverage into rural areas by traditional methods, however, can mean that some communities have less opportunity than others to benefits from mobile connectivity.
In rural and remote locations across the UK, networks can struggle to deliver coverage via traditional means. This may be due to the geography of the area or difficulties with planning permission in areas such as national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Vodafone Open Sure Signal uses 'femtocell' technology to provide a Vodafone 3G signal in areas where traditional mobile coverage has been unable to reach.
About the size of a domestic broadband box and in a range of colours, the units use existing broadband services to deliver the Vodafone 3G mobile signal.
Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone UK Chief Executive, said: "This is an opportunity for people to make a real difference to their community and to be part of our commitment to close the digital divide between rural and urban areas. Bringing mobile coverage and mobile internet to rural areas gives communities a real boost - both economically and socially. I'm looking forward to seeing the successful communities light up and start to experience the benefits mobile connectivity will bring to each and every community involved."
Applications for the Rural Open Sure Signal programme close on 14 October 2014 with the first communities to be connected by the end of the year.