Press Releases (137)


hanks to the advent of social media, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with loved ones all over the world. But are some of us foregoing personal contact for digital conversations?



  • Croxton and Reepham in Norfolk are the latest communities to be connected in Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme
  • Blakeney, which was part of the ROSS trial,  has had its coverage extended further with the addition of another ROSS unit
  • The ROSS units in Croxton and Reepham are already supporting more than 2,500 data sessions a day
  • Part of approximately £2 billion Vodafone is spending on its UK network and services across 2014 and 2015

Vodafone UK has announced the beautiful rural communities of Croxton and Reepham (Norfolk) as the latest communities in a rural mobile not-spot location to receive 3G coverage with Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme. They join four other communities across Norfolk, including High Kelling, Hillington and Upper Sheringham, which are already live with 3G mobile signal as part of the ROSS programme. Blakeney, which went live in autumn 2014 as part of the ROSS trial, has had another unit installed in the village to broaden the reach of the existing coverage. Vodafone has also brought 3G coverage to two Norfolk pubs as part of our Rural Community Pub pilot programme –The Mermaid Inn (Elsing) and The Cross Keys (Dilham).

Situated in the beautiful Norfolk countryside, Croxton and Reepham have until now suffered from unreliable mobile coverage and slow network speeds across all mobile networks.  The ROSS programme uses Vodafone’s innovative Sure Signal technology to bring high quality 3G voice services and much needed access to the internet via mobile devices to communities in some of the UK’s most beautiful and remote areas.  About the size of a cereal box, the Open Sure Signal units connect to existing broadband lines to create 3G coverage, and are installed high up on chimney breasts or the eaves of buildings.

The ROSS programme is a national initiative by Vodafone UK to provide reliable mobile access to up to 100 rural communities in mobile not-spot locations. Launched in July 2014, with support from local MPs, councils and rural action groups, the programme received an overwhelming response, with applications from communities across the country from the Shetland Islands to Cornwall to the mountains of Snowdonia.

Mobile connectivity plays a vital role in keeping communities in touch and helps support local economies. However, rural and remote locations often miss out on advantages provided by modern communication tools, due to the complexity of delivering network coverage. This can be because of the geography of the area or difficulties with planning permissions in places of outstanding natural beauty. The ROSS programme uses innovative ‘femtocell’ technology to provide an alternative solution to bring 3G mobile access in locations where it isn’t possible for networks to provide coverage through traditional means.

As part of the ROSS programme, Vodafone teams have now surveyed each of the 100 communities which were added to the programme at the end of last year.  The surveys included physical ground assessments by Vodafone engineers as well as detailed fixed broadband speed checks. The teams have also drawn up plans for viable communities to illustrate where the equipment will be sited. The process saw some of the initial communities having their implementation postponed until their community broadband speeds and availability have improved.

Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer, said: “I am delighted that Croxton and Reepham have joined our Rural Open Sure Signal programme. Mobile connectivity is an essential service for communities and businesses to thrive in today’s digital world and support local economies. As part of the Rural Open Sure Signal programme, we are committed to investing in our network to provide access even in remote locations where it is otherwise almost impossible to reach. The amount of data passing through the units already shows the significant benefit the technology is making to members of these communities. I am really excited to see the transformation for Croxton and Reepham, and the other Norfolk communities which have been successful for this pioneering programme.”

Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk said: “I am extremely pleased that the residents of Croxton are going to benefit from this investment in 3G coverage. Mobile not spots is an issue across South West Norfolk and I am delighted that Vodafone has chosen Croxton to be one of the communities to benefit from the Rural Open Sure Signal programme. Good mobile connectivity is particularly vital in rural areas and I will continue to press for improved service across the whole of the county.”

Doug Stephen, Village Champion for Croxton commented: “Croxton has always suffered with poor mobile coverage. Now that Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) has been installed, it is now possible for residents, business owners and visitors to make calls and use the internet on their mobile phones. We can now start enjoying the benefits of an improved mobile coverage for the first time.”  

Keith Simpson, MP for Broadland, Norfolk said: “I am delighted that Reepham residents are now benefitting from improved mobile coverage with the Vodafone Rural Sure Signal Programme.  This is a wonderful example of local communities, councils and consumer organisations working together to deliver communications fit for the 21st Century and I am pleased to have been able to help in securing this very important milestone for Reepham.”

Brenda Gostling, Chairman of Reepham Chamber of Commerce, said “In today’s high tech world, a strong mobile phone signal is a key business requirement.  Reepham is a small but vibrant market town with many small businesses:  the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal project has given us an enormous boost and we were delighted to have been selected.  This will help to ensure the town’s economic sustainability in the longer term”.

Referring to Chamber member, Jeremy Brockman, who took on the role of Village Champion for the project and acted as liaison between the community, the hosts of the units and Vodafone, Brenda added “Jeremy’s untiring determination has been absolutely key to making this project a success. The whole community should be hugely grateful to him and to those who have agreed to host the new signal boosting equipment.”

As well as using Rural Open Sure Signal to plug rural “not-spots”, Vodafone is spending around £2 billion on its network and services across the country over 2014 and 2015.  This includes the provision of HD (High Definition) Voice technology on its 3G network and the extension of its 4G coverage to 690 cities and towns and thousands of smaller communities across the UK.

Further communities will be announced over the next few months. For more information on the programme, visit

For more information please contact

Vodafone UK Media Relations

01635 666777

Notes to editors:

  • The programme involves the use of innovative ‘femtocell’ technology. Vodafone UK has pioneered the use of this technology with Vodafone Sure Signal. Launched in 2009, Vodafone Sure Signal is used by hundreds of thousands of people across the UK every day to boost their in-building 3G coverage. It plugs straight into a home broadband line. For more information visit
  • Pictures from the launch event are available on request.



  • Vodafone and Snapchat partner to raise awareness of teen cyberbullying, with #BeStrong anti-bullying emojis appearing as Geofilter photo overlays for millions of ‘Snapchatters’ across Europe.
  • Millions of UK ‘Snapchatters’ will be able to use the Geofilter overlays to show support for Anti-Bullying Week.
  • #BeStrong emojis created in response to global cyberbullying survey among 5,000 teens, which found one in five teens cyberbullied, a fifth of those felt suicidal and almost half struggle to find the right words to support friends bullied online.
  • Vodafone Foundation to donate £1 per retweet or like of the #BeStrong emojis* on Twitter or Facebook to anti-bullying charities during Anti-Bullying Week in the UK.

 Snapchat, the mobile platform with over 100 million global daily active users, has partnered with Vodafone to help raise awareness of teen cyberbullying during the UK’s Anti-Bullying Week 2015.

Snapchat has created a series of Europe-wide Geofilters – special artistic overlays for ‘Snaps’ that can be accessed from select locations – to encourage ‘Snapchatters’ to take a stand against bullying by sharing Snaps featuring Vodafone’s #BeStrong emojis. The images will reach millions of Snapchatters all across Europe to help them take a stand against bullying.

The #BeStrong emojis were designed in response to an 11-country survey commissioned by Vodafone from YouGov*, where 72% of the teenagers surveyed said they would welcome an emoji they could share with friends being bullied online to show their support.

The #BeStrong emojis were developed in collaboration with anti-bullying ambassador Monica Lewinsky. Lewinsky, whose TED Talk about bullying has had more than six million views, first brought the idea for the #BeStrong emojis to Vodafone. Others who helped create the #BeStrong emojis include Berkeley University Professor Dacher Keltner – the psychologist who advised on the creation of the characters for Pixar film Inside Out, semioticians (who study signs and symbols and their use or interpretation) and anti-bullying NGOs including The Diana Award and ENABLE, a European Union project to help combat bullying.

Commenting in a video, Professor Keltner explained the importance of teens being able to offer support and show sympathy to their peers being cyberbullied. He said: “A lot of emojis can be limited for communicating emotions.  The bystander needs better tools.  Specific emojis that they can send their friends to show that they are there for them.”

The global cyberbullying study, one of the largest of its kind, revealed that more than half of teenagers said cyberbullying is worse than face-to-face bullying and 43 per cent believe it to be a bigger problem for young people than drug abuse. Additionally, 38 per cent said they did not tell their parents or guardians, as they felt ashamed (32%), scared their parents would get involved (40%), or worried what their parents might do (36%).

In addition, the Vodafone Foundation, Vodafone’s philanthropic arm, as part of its digital family programme, is also helping to raise funds for anti-bullying NGOs by donating £1(€1.40) for every Twitter retweet or public Facebook like of Vodafone’s image of the #BeStrong emojis* during Anti-Bullying Week in the UK.

Snapchat’s Director of Public Policy Micah Schaffer, said: “We’re proud to leverage our Geofilters product to help spread the BeStrong message with ‘Snapchatters’ across Europe. We hope that sharing this message can help ‘Snapchatters’ take a stand against bullying on our platform and beyond.”

Vodafone Foundation Director Andrew Dunnett, said: “The new generation that was born digital thrives in a world of constant connectivity, but there are clear risks for young people as well as benefits. Our research showed many teenagers find it difficult to help their friends when cyberbullying is happening, and the #BeStrong campaign has been created to help them convey emotional support.”

The initiative is a continuation of Vodafone’s commitment to helping children and their parents navigate through the social and digital world in a safe way. Vodafone UK recently released the fourth edition of its Digital Parenting magazine, developed in partnership with The Parent Zone, which is full of tips of how to help young people stay connected safely. Since its release in September, more than 500,000 copies of the magazine have been distributed to schools, NGO’s, government bodies, children’s charities and other outlets. Vodafone is also the headline sponsor of the upcoming National Theatre production,, which highlights a range of issues relevant to many teenagers today, particularly the positive and negative impacts of the online world.

 Note to editors:

  • Images of the emojis and video content can be found here
  • Survey highlights across the 11 countries can be found here
  • Vodafone and NGO The Diana Award have also released a series of learning modules aimed at teenagers, which cover subjects from ‘selfies ‘and ‘online gaming’ to ‘social networking’ and‘mean tweets’. Further learning modules will be released over the next year on, which include advice for parents.
  • *All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4,720 13-18 year olds in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, New Zealand, Greece, South Africa, USA, Ireland & the Czech Republic. The figures have been given an even weighting for each country to produce an ‘average’ value.
  • *The Vodafone Foundation will provide a total donation to anti-bullying NGOs of up to £100,000 (€137,000)
  • A summary of an anti-bullying round table held on 17 November to launch the partnership can be found here.

More Press Releases

What we do (8)


We’re bringing 4G to new places and using pioneering technology to provide reliable coverage in rural not-spots. We’re upgrading our infrastructure with new masts, pumping mobile data through trains, tubes and some of the tallest buildings in the world, and a whole lot more besides... The network will always be the most important part of our business, and it’s constantly evolving.


Consumer Services

With 5 Star Care in every store and a huge range of unique tools like EuroTraveller, WorldTraveller, Vodafone Wallet and more covering everything you’ll ever need throughout the whole of your mobile life, there are plenty of reasons to get excited about what Vodafone UK has to offer. Find out more right here.


Business and the public sector

Let’s get down to business. The Vodafone network runs through the heart of thousands of UK companies, providing versatile enterprise solutions for small and big businesses, private and public alike. Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to know about globally-recognised services like OneNet, along with news on how we’re helping homegrown companies of all sizes flourish.


Downloads (68)

More Downloads