Vodafone looks to femtocells again in latest rural mobile coverage push
Vodafone will provide 3G to 100 community centres in rural locations with poor mobile coverage using femtocell technology.
The Community Indoor Sure Signal (CISS) is inviting applications from establishments such as independent or community owned pubs, village halls, doctor’s surgeries or visitor’s centres and will provide participants with a ‘Sure Signal+’ unit that plugs into an existing router.
Applicants must have a broadband connection with at least 4Mbps download and 2Mbps upload speeds for it to work.
Read More: What next for rural mobile coverage
Vodafone rural mobile coverage
The Bear and Ragged Staff pub in Worcestershire is the first location to benefit, a project run in partnership with ‘Pub Is the Hub’, a non-profit organisation that helps landlords diversify to better serve the local community.
“Reliable mobile coverage and mobile internet are vital to the economic and social well-being of rural communities,” said Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK CTO. “By installing our units, we can ensure that rural hotspots continue to play an important role in rural community life.”
CISS complements the Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) initiative which provided femtocells to 100 villages. The Sure Signal+ device is pitched at businesses as a way of providing better indoor mobile coverage for staff.
Residents and campaigners in rural areas have long complained about the persistence of ‘notspots’ but the government and all four major operators have entered into a legally-binding agreement that will see a combined £5 billion invested into network infrastructure.
Each operator will be required to offer at least voice and text services to 90 percent of the UK’s land mass while full coverage will increase from 69 percent to 85 percent by 2017. EE has committed to covering 95 percent of the UK’s landmass with 4G by 2020.
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