- People and businesses in Kirkwall begin to benefit from Vodafone’s improvements to both its 3G and 4G networks
- St Andrews is the first Orkney community to be connected in Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme.
Vodafone UK has started to roll out its 4G network on Orkney this week. The arrival of Vodafone 4G in Kirkwall means all customers with compatible devices and bundles will be able to connect to the internet more quickly, more reliably and in more places than ever before. 4G services will also help businesses improve productivity by enabling employees to work where they want to, when they want to.
Other network improvements currently taking place across the area include Vodafone’s indoor and outdoor 3G network in the town and the arrival of the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme to St. Andrews. 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.
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. Communities connected to ROSS so far have been enjoying social media using mobile internet whilst rural businesses now have mobile signal to help make their businesses work better.
Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer for Vodafone UK, commented: “It is great news that Kirkwall has become our latest 4G community. The arrival of 4G will bring faster internet speeds to customers whilst our overall network improvements in the town and across the area will ensure our customers enjoy stronger outdoor and indoor coverage. Local businesses will also be able to react faster to the needs of customers and introduce remote working practices for staff which can help reduce costs and increase productivity.”
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. It also plans to provide coverage using 2G, 3G or 4G services to 98% of the UK population and 90% UK geographical reach. Other network improvements across the UK recently have included the nationwide provision of HD (High Definition) Voice technology on its 3G network and the introduction of its WiFi Calling service.