Press Release | 25 Jan 2017



The Wortwell Bell Inn in Harleston, South Norfolk, is first community hub to get Vodafone’s 3G mobile coverage on its Community Indoor Sure Signal programme 

  • Bell Inn in Harleston, South Norfolk now receives reliable Vodafone 3G mobile coverage
  • First community hub to go live in Vodafone’s Community Indoor Sure Signal programme

The Wortwell Bell Inn, on the outskirts of Harleston in South Norfolk, is the first community hub to receive indoor 3G coverage under Vodafone’s Community Indoor Sure Signal (CISS) programme. Vodafone has installed an innovative mini-mast inside the pub bringing much wanted mobile voice and data capability to staff and customers.

Reliable indoor coverage can be difficult to achieve in certain buildings, including older properties with thick walls or those located in extreme rural and remote areas. The CISS programme is focused on bringing Vodafone indoor coverage to 100 community hubs, such as pubs, village halls and community centres, across the country.

The femtocell technology used in CISS is similar to that deployed by Vodafone in its successful Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme, which brought 3G coverage to 84 rural not-spots across the country including 12 across Norfolk. The units – about the size of a standard domestic broadband router – provide 3G mobile coverage throughout a building when connected to an existing broadband line.

Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer, said: “Community hubs, like pubs and village halls, across the UK play an important part in rural life and supporting the local economy. We want to ensure all our customers can enjoy the benefits of mobile connectivity wherever they are but appreciate there are some communities which will take longer to get to using traditional methods. We remain committed to innovative programmes, like ROSS and CISS, which help bring coverage to communities who need it.”

Chris Shore, landlord of The Wortwell Bell added: “The Vodafone Sure Signal unit is benefitting both our customers and our business. As keeping in touch is so important to everyone these days, having a reliable 3G signal is fantastic for our village pub.”

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text message, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. We now have 5G in more places than anyone else, with multiple locations now live across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Today we serve more than 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%.  Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards – for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Connectivity is at the heart of what we do as it gives us a huge opportunity for good. We are using our network, products, talents and technology to help society prosper and respond to significant social and environmental issues.  Our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families and schools across the UK to navigate the online world safely. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation’s work with researchers at Imperial College is developing personalised cancer treatment using the processing power of smartphones.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest technology communications companies, with mobile operations in 26 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.  As of 30 September 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 625 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers, and 22 million TV customers – including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

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