Vodafone UK has unveiled a list of 40 additional ‘not-spot’ locations which it said will gain 4G voice and data coverage as part of its ‘Rural Open Sure Signal’ (‘ROSS’) programme, ITPro Portal reports. This brings to 100 the total number of locations to be covered by the scheme, with the latest named areas including communities in: Argyll & Bute, Borders, Caithness, Cornwall, Co Tyrone, Cumbria, Denbighshire, Fife, Hampshire, Inverness-shire, Outer Hebrides, Ross-shire, Selkirkshire, Shetlands, Suffolk, Warwickshire, Wigtownshire and Yorkshire. Deployment in all of the areas covered by the ROSS programme is expected to be undertaken over the course of this year and 2016.
Commenting on the development, Vodafone UK chief executive Jeroen Hoencamp was cited as saying: ‘I am delighted to announce that we have now shortlisted all 100 ‘not-spot’ communities who could benefit from Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal programme … We are pleased to be able to deploy our innovative technologies to deliver 3G mobile signal to these rural communities for the first time.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in July 2014 Vodafone UK announced its national programme under which it would offer up to 100 rural communities the opportunity to apply for mobile access with a view to enhancing coverage. With the cellco saying it was calling for communities to work together, in partnership with their local MP, to apply for the installation of its Open Sure Signal technology, it said its aim was to bring its 3G services to new areas. In unveiling its plans, Vodafone UK revealed that its initial ROSS trial saw the connection of twelve rural communities across the UK, from Walls in the Shetland Islands to Newton St Cyres in Devon; the cellco’s Open Sure Signal uses femtocell technology to provide a 3G signal in those areas where traditional mobile coverage has yet to reach due to issues with local geography or planning permission.