Mobile giant Vodafone has announced that 40 ‘non-spots’ in the UK will receive 3G voice and data coverage.
The move is part of Vodafone’s ‘Rural Open Sure Signal’ program, focused on bringing mobile internet services to places without any form of connection. Ofcom claims two per cent of the UK still has no form of internet.
This is the final 40 places to be short-listed in the program, 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.
Vodafone has 100 places on its program and will work on deployment in 2015 and 2016, utilising local town halls, pubs, shops and other community places, to maintain strong mobile connection throughout the villages.
“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,” said Jeroen Hoencamp, chief executive of Vodafone UK.
The program is part of a large push by Vodafone to make the most consistent network in the UK. The UK carrier is acquiring lots of low-end spectrum, to make sure users can use mobile devices inside buildings.
However, the consistent connection comes at the cost of no 4G LTE speed, something Hoencamp claims “customers don’t care about” compared to having consistent connection everywhere.
Several rumors have been floating about following the news BT Group will acquire EE for £12.5 billion, including a report that Hutchison Whampoa (Three UK parent) will acquire O2 for £9 billion, and Virgin Media may acquire Vodafone for £10 billion.