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Press Release | 21 Sep 2015

EASTON AND ITCHEN ABBAS LATEST COMMUNITIES TO RECEIVE MOBILE COVERAGE WITH VODAFONE RURAL SURE SIGNAL PROGRAMME #ROSS100

EASTON AND ITCHEN ABBAS LATEST COMMUNITIES TO RECEIVE MOBILE COVERAGE WITH VODAFONE RURAL SURE SIGNAL PROGRAMME #ROSS100

The beautiful rural communities of Easton and Itchen Abbas (Hampshire) as the latest notspot communities to receive 3G coverage with Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme.

  • Vodafone UK lights up rural Hampshire not spot with reliable 3G coverage for the first time
  • Easton and Itchen Abbas in the Itchen Valley are the latest communities to be connected in Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme
  • Part of approximately £2 billion Vodafone is spending on its UK network and services across 2014 and 2015

Vodafone UK has announced the beautiful rural communities of Easton and Itchen Abbas (Hampshire) as the latest community in a rural mobile not-spot location to receive 3G coverage with Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme.

Situated in the Itchen Valley, Easton and Itchen Abbas have until now suffered from unreliable mobile coverage and slow network speeds.  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 applications from communities 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 Easton and Itchen Abbas 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. I am excited to see the transformation for the Itchen Valley and other communities which has been successful for this pioneering programme.”

Steve Brine, MP, Winchester and Chandler’s Ford said: “I am very pleased to see this new ROSS system up and running. I have been working hard with Hampshire County Council and government on rural broadband issues, and having spoken to countless people in the area, I know this will be very warmly welcomed indeed.”

Henry Labram, Village champion for Itchen Valley commented: This is a big step forward in getting an improved mobile connection for the Itchen Valley. Visitors to the area as well as residents will benefit. It started with the Parish Plan, completed last summer, when residents said that lack of a good mobile signal was a serious problem for the area. We then learnt that Vodafone were offering their ROSS system for free, and with local MP Steve Brine’s strong support, the system is now in place. There has been much more to organise than you might think, including a number of site surveys and visits by engineers, and the Vodafone team have been very helpful. Technology can bring so many good things, and keeping up is really important”.

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 645 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 666777

https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk/

Notes to editors:

  • Launch event photos available on request.

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.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk

 

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587