Press Releases (151)


Vodafone UK has today published its quarterly Sustainability Report, which covers activity during Winter 2015.  The report covers a range of initiatives:

  • the launch of our partnership with The Scout Association and the creation of the Scouts Digital Manifesto, which provides clear goals to help young people use digital technology safely, creatively and responsibly .
  • working with the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at St Andrews University to investigate the rapid decline of some species of marine mammal using our machine-to-machine (M2M) technology
  • Our Giving Something Back campaign, which also highlights that £33 million has been donated through JustTextGiving since its launch in May 2011



75 per cent of companies worldwide have now introduced flexible working policies to enable employees to vary their hours and use the latest technologies to work from home or on the move according to one of the largest global surveys of its kind conducted with 8,000 employers and employees across three continents. The survey – Flexible: friend or foe? – by Vodafone drew on responses from small and medium-sized businesses, public sector organisations and multinational corporations (MNCs) in 10 countries.


Respondents stated – to a striking extent – that they believed performance had been enhanced as a result of flexible working:
– 61 per cent of respondents said their company’s profits increased;
– 83 per cent reported an improvement in productivity; and
– 58 per cent believed that flexible working policies had a positive impact on their organisation’s reputation.


The rapid adoption of high-speed mobile data services, fixed-line broadband and cloud services is playing an integral role in this workplace revolution: 61 per cent of respondents now use their home broadband service to access work applications and 24 per cent use a mobile data connection via their smartphone, tablet or laptop with a broadband dongle.


Barriers to adoption
Vodafone’s survey also explored the reasons why 20 per cent of respondents said their organisation had not yet implemented a flexible working policy. Of those reporting that there was no such policy in place:
– 33 per cent said they believed it would not suit the culture of their organisation;
– 30 per cent were concerned about friction between employees working flexibly and those who did not do so;
– 25 per cent believed that work would be unfairly distributed between flexible and non-flexible groups of employees; and
– 22 per cent believed employees would not work as hard if allowed to adopt flexible working patterns and technologies.


While the minority of respondents without flexible working policies in place were clear on the reasons why their organisations had not yet pursued these, even within this group there was a clear sense that reversing their organisation’s position would deliver benefits:
– 55 per cent of employers without flexible working policies in place agreed that employee morale would improve if these were to be introduced;
– 44 per cent said they believed productivity would improve as a result; and
– 30 per cent believed profits would increase.



Country and generational differences
Vodafone’s research identified a number of striking variations between national attitudes towards flexible working. For example:
– 71 per cent of Spanish employees surveyed use their own smartphone to work flexibly outside the workplace compared with 38 per cent in the UK and 27 per cent in Germany;
– Only 8 per cent of UK employers surveyed would be concerned about employees not working as hard as a consequence of flexible working policies compared with 33 per cent in Hong Kong; and
– 52 per cent of German employees surveyed said they were not aware of their company’s security policy regarding flexible working compared with 23 per cent of those in India.


Vodafone’s Flexible: friend or foe? survey also found marked differences between age groups in the workplace. The new generation in the workplace is instinctively adopting technologies such as cloud services, advanced messaging and video conferencing that are central to flexible working. Researchers found that 72 per cent of 18-24 year olds believed that flexible working would improve the quality of their work. However, that proportion fell to 38 per cent among respondents over 55.


Vodafone Group Enterprise Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “Vodafone’s research reveals a profound and rapid shift in the modern workplace. Employers are telling us that flexible working boosts profits while their employees tell us they’re more productive. Central to all of this are the new technologies that are reshaping every sector, from high-speed mobile data networks and fixed-line broadband to the latest collaborative cloud services. We truly are in an era when work is what you do, not where you go.”



Notes to editors
The Flexible: friend or foe? survey was conducted by Morar (formerly Redshift Research) on behalf of Vodafone between September and October 2015. The countries surveyed were Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the USA. A total of 8,000 employers and employees were interviewed online across 10 countries.
Download our flexible working guide at




  • Vodafone UK lights up Argyll and Bute not-spot with reliable 3G coverage for the first time
  • Ormsary is the latest Scottish community to be connected in Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme
  • The ROSS unit is already taking an average of 70 mobile calls and supporting 3,000 data sessions a day
  • Part of approximately £2 billion Vodafone is spending on its UK network and services


Vodafone UK has announced the beautiful, coastal community of Ormsary (Argyll and Bute) as the latest community in a rural mobile not-spot location to receive 3G coverage with Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme.

Ormsary has until now suffered from unreliable mobile coverage.  The Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal (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 or remote areas.

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 six communities now live across Scotland, from Walls in the Shetland Islands to the Isle of Whithorn in the south.

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 100 communities.  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 Ormsary has 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 number of calls and  data sessions the unit is supporting every day, on an island where there was marginal coverage previously, shows the significant benefit the technology is making to members of the community. I am excited to see the transformation for Ormsary and other communities which have been successful for this pioneering programme.”


Brendan O’Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Ormsary and the surrounding area will now benefit from Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme. So many of the social and economic problems we face in Argyll & Bute are due to lack of connectivity; so the introduction of a reliable 3G service for both mobile and internet in our rural communities is very welcome indeed.”

Michael Russell, MSP for Argyll and Bute said: “”I am very pleased that Ormsary has been successful in securing a Sure Signal service which will massively improve communication and accessibility.  Rural communities must not be left behind by the digital revolution and Vodafone’s commitment to these areas and this development is vital and welcome.”

Mary Semple, Chairperson, Chair for Ormsary Community Hall said: “Society today means that we all like to keep in touch, but we live in an area with no mobile reception available for a number of miles. Our local hall in Ormsary plays a vital role in our fragile community. The Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal means peace of mind for the volunteer leaders of Brownie/Guide groups or Cub/Scout groups who can travel over fifteen miles to use the Hall and now are able to make contact with parents of the children and vice versa should an emergency arise.  It also means we will have to confiscate all mobile phones on our Quiz night evenings!”

Barbara Cutler, Village Champion for Ormsary commented: “We’ve had increased interest in using our community hall now that it has mobile phone coverage. Youngsters love the fact that their phones now work when out and about in the community and parents feel more relaxed knowing that everyone can stay in contact.”

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.  This includes the provision of HD (High Definition) Voice technology on its 3G network and the extension of its 4G coverage to 752 cities and towns and thousands of smaller communities across the UK.


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


For more information please contact

Vodafone UK Media Relations

01635 666777

Notes to editors:

  • Launch event photos available on request.

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