Vodaphone have announced that they will be running a specific competition where 100 rural communities can get a 3G signal boost if they prove their support of the technology.
The telecom company, Vodaphone will provide this strengthened 3G signal boost by installing its Open Sure Signal equipment (which includes four – five Open Sure Signal femtocells) free of charge on approved suitable sites.
This 3G signal boost provided through the Open Sure Signal will provide strong and consistent coverage to the rural area where signal may not be available or sufficient for the user’s needs. Although Vodaphone will be supplying the kit and installing it for free, a yearly £30 electricity fee will need to be paid for by the community as well as the user needing to be on the Vodaphone network. Furthermore, the location in question will need to be able to provide a 4Mbps internet connection for the femtocells to access in order to provide the 3G service.
Vodaphone’s Chief Executive Jeroen Hoencamp believes that there will be a high demand for the 3G signal boost and that businesses especially will benefit. He commented that there will be “big benefits for business in these areas as they then have mobile internet to access all their applications and tools on-the-go, not just in their offices. So whether a mussel farmer in the Shetlands or a GP in a small rural community you are always available, you are always productive, wherever you go.”
Jeroen also commented that “this is an opportunity for people to make a real difference to their community and to be part of our commitment to close the digital divide between rural and urban areas,”
In order to obtain this 3G signal boost, the rural communities need to work with their local MP to enter the Rural Open Sure Signal Program. The deadline for any applications is 14Th October 2014 with Vodaphone aiming to have the first communities connected by the end of the year. Vodaphone have said they will decide which 100 rural locations receive the funding based on their community support to the technology.