- Vodafone UK lights up rural Wales community with reliable 3G coverage for the first time.
- Communities of Bryneglwys and Moylegrove join Loggerheads in Wales to be connected in Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme.
- ROSS units across the communities are already taking an average of over 75 mobile calls and supporting over 5,000 data sessions a day.
- Part of approximately £2 billion Vodafone is spending on its UK network and services in the UK.
Vodafone UK has announced the communities of Bryneglwys and Moylegrove as the latest areas in a rural mobile not-spot location to receive 3G coverage with Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme.
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 over 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. The unit, about the size of a cereal box, is connected to local buildings including pubs, village halls and private residences to bring reliable 3G coverage across the community.
Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer, said: “I am delighted that Bryneglwys and Moylegrove 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 number of calls and data sessions the units are supporting every day, where there was marginal coverage previously, shows the significant benefit the technology is making to members of these communities. I am excited to see the transformation for Bryneglwy and Moylegrove, and other communities which have been successful for this pioneering programme.”
David Jones, MP for Clwyd West commented: “Access to reliable mobile phone coverage has become essential in our daily lives so I am delighted that Vodafone has responded to the needs of our community and Brynegwyls will receive a much better service. Connecting communities and helping local businesses is absolutely vital to the rural areas in Wales and getting access to 3G mobile coverage is a big step towards achieving this.”
Nia Roberts and Stanley Hardman, Village Champions for Bryneglwys commented: “Bryneglwys has always suffered with poor mobile coverage. The arrival of the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme is important for our residents, businesses and visitors to the village. We can now start enjoying the benefits of improved mobile coverage in the centre of the community.”
Stephen Crabb, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire commented: “I’m delighted that Vodafone will be providing mobile broadband coverage to the community at Moylegrove. It is absolutely vital that all areas get access to a reliable broadband service and it is often the rural areas which suffer the most connection problems. I very pleased that the community and businesses here in Moylegrove will be able to benefit from 3G coverage provided by Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme.”
Robert Thomas, Village Champion for Moylegrove said: “Mobile connectivity has become an essential service for communities and businesses to grow in today’s environment. Vodafone ROSS programme will be a huge benefit to Moylegrove, allowing people in remote locations to stay in touch with friends and family, and to help businesses connect with their customers. We are excited to see how this programme will develop in the Community.”
As well as using Rural Open Sure Signal to plug rural “not-spots”, Vodafone has invested more than £2 billion in its network and services since 2014 and expects to invest another £2 billion on them over the next three years. This includes the provision of HD (High Definition) Voice technology on its 3G network and the extension of its 4G coverage to over 840 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
Notes to editors:
- Launch event photos available on request.