Vodafone announces 3G cover to 40 more rural communities

The major mobile operator, Vodafone of UK, has announced 3G coverage to 40 more rural communities, to bring the total to 100. This 3rd batch, probably the last batch, will soon receive 3G-based mobile broadband and voice coverage on its on-going Rural Open Sure Signal project.

This project uses ‘Femtocell’ technology, which utilises existing fixed-line to link-up the operator’s mobile network, thereby boosting coverage over specific areas, mostly ‘not-spots’. It was first trialled in 2011/12, across 12 rural communities. The project now aims at up to 100 rural communities. 30 communities had earlier been announced under this project (using its 3G based network).

Rural Open Sure Signal devices are little boxes that effectively act as small outdoor wireless routers. They can be easily installed on any number of buildings or on street furniture, to distribute the signals over a wide area that earlier was not feasible or affordable by conventional technology.

Assuming that all goes as planned, then all rural communities announced should be live by the end of 2015. New communities to benefit include villages around Yorkshire, Wigtownshire, Warwickshire, Suffolk, Shetlands, Selkirkshire, Ross-shire, Outer Hebrides, Inverness-shire, Hampshire, Fife, Denbighshire, Cumbria, Co Tyrone, Cornwall, Caithness, Borders and Argyll & Bute.

The Vodafone programme has support from councils, local MPs and rural action groups. Sajid Javid, the culture secretary, has pledged his support last year to tackle rural ‘not-spots’. Concurrently Vodafone UK’s 4G coverage across the nation is being extended. Vodafone is investing to clearly take up the opportunity offered by their service and has also recently launched the new WiFi Cube based on 4G technology.

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