Vodafone wants rural communities to sign up to mobile coverage programme

Vodafone UK has teamed up with the National Association of Local Councils and the Countryside Alliance to encourage more communities to apply to its Rural Open Sure Signal programme which will give 100 rural communities across the UK the opportunity to have 3G mobile coverage for the first time. 

Vodafone UK is encouraging small businesses and community councils to actively engage with their local villages to apply for the installation of Vodafone’s innovative Open Sure Signal technology. The national programme closes for applications on 14th October 2014.

Using ‘open femto’ technology, Vodafone Open Sure Signal provides a Vodafone 3G signal in areas which traditional mobile coverage has been unable to reach.  About the size of a domestic broadband box and in a range of colours, the units use existing broadband services to deliver the Vodafone 3G mobile signal. The units can be installed on any number of buildings including village halls, pubs, shops and homes across the community to ensure widespread mobile coverage.

Cllr Ken Browse, Chairman of the National Association of Local Councils said: “We see fast broadband access as an essential need for the social and economic well-being of neighbourhoods in rural areas as well as urban areas. So we support Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme and encourage local councils and communities to commit to citizen-led action by entering this scheme, which could help eventually to protect local assets and services, and deliver responsive services to meet the needs of communities.” 

As well as using Rural Open Sure Signal to plug 100 rural “not-spots”, Vodafone is spending more than £1 billion on its network and services across the country this year, including extending its 4G coverage to 319 cities and towns and thousands of smaller communities across the UK. Vodafone have pledged to provide coverage using 2G, 3G or 4G services to 98% of the UK population.

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