IWADE RECEIVES MOBILE COVERAGE WITH VODAFONE RURAL SURE SIGNAL PROGRAMME #ROSS100
- Vodafone UK lights up rural Kent community with reliable 3G coverage for the first time.
- Iwade is the first Kentish community to be connected in Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme.
- ROSS units across all communities are already taking an average of over 500 mobile calls and supporting over 30,000 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 community of Iwade as the latest area 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 Iwade 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 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 Iwade and other communities which have been successful for this pioneering programme.”
Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey commented: “Being able to communicate quickly and effectively by mobile phone or the internet is something that most people take for granted. However, there are many rural communities who do not have that ability because of the lack of a signal. Iwade is such a community, so I am delighted that Vodafone has chosen the village to become the first place in Kent to be part of their Rural Open Sure Signal programme and will now have access to a decent 3G internet connection. There are a number of other communities in my constituency, including the east end of Sheppey, where mobile phone reception is very poor, or non-existent, and I very much hope that at some time in the future more of our villages will be included in the programme so that they too can benefit from what is a very exciting initiative. Well done Vodafone!”
Matt Gale, Village Champion for Iwade commented: “The lack of a mobile signal has always been an issue within our community and I am proud to have delivered the Rural Open Signal project with Vodafone to Iwade and hope that at least some of our residents have benefited. I would like to thank Jamie Dicker of Iwade Garage, Samantha Toms of Iwade Medical Centre, Jim Fisher of Iwade School and resident Jon Roberts for their assistance and support in the project.”
As well as using Rural Open Sure Signal to plug rural “not-spots”, Vodafone is investing heavily in 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 over 800 cities and towns and thousands of smaller communities across the UK. Further ROSS 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.
About Vodafone UK
Vodafone is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 57 more, and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. As of 31 December 2015, Vodafone had 461 million mobile customers and 13 million fixed broadband customers. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.
Vodafone UK partners with businesses of all sizes - from start-ups and small businesses to the largest corporates and the public sector. The company has worked with UK businesses for over 30 years, starting out as a mobile provider and becoming one of the UK’s leading total communications partners. It provides a range of voice and data services, secure communications infrastructure, fixed and call centre capability, unified communications and was the first mobile phone operator to offer a truly converged service for fixed and mobile.
Vodafone is currently spending around £1 billion on its network and services across the UK following a similar amount spent last year. This includes £200 million on its network in London, the introduction of its 4G service to more than 830 cities and towns, as well as thousands of smaller communities whilst also making network improvements across its UK 3G network. Meanwhile, The Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme is also aiming to bring 3G coverage for the first time to 100 remote communities across the UK.
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