- In a first for Yorkshire, Vodafone UK lights up rural not-spot with reliable 3G coverage for the first time
- Bradfield in South Yorkshire is the latest community to be connected in Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme
- ROSS units in Bradfield are already taking an average of 80 mobile calls and supporting 6,000 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 that Bradfield, in the Peak District National Park, is the latest community in a rural mobile not-spot location to receive 3G coverage with Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme.
Residents of Bradfield have 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 more than 40 communities now live across the country from the Shetland Islands to Cornwall and from the mountains of Snowdonia to the Norfolk coast.
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 Bradfield 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 Bradfield units are supporting every day, in an area 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 Bradfield and other communities which have been successful for this pioneering programme.”
Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield and Hallam said: “In the 21st century, so much of our everyday life is now dependent on technology, that’s why I believe it is vital that people and businesses be connected to the digital world. I am delighted that the people of Bradfield will now be able to enjoy fast and reliable 3G mobile coverage thanks to the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme.”
Teresa Bisatt, Village champion for Bradfield commented: “The arrival of the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme has been a great benefit to Bradfield. It is important for our residents, businesses and visitors to the village. We are now enjoying the much improved mobile coverage across the community.”
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 757 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 www.vodafone.co.uk/rural.
For more information please contact
Vodafone UK Media Relations
01635 693 693
Notes to editors:
- Launch event photos available on request.