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Bradfield is first Yorkshire village to get 3G through Vodafone scheme

Friday, March 4th 2016 by Ellen Branagh

The Yorkshire village of Bradfield has become the first community in the county to get 3G signal as part of Vodafone’s ROSS programme.

The programme – which stands for Rural Open Sure Signal – brings 3G services to communities stuck in ‘not-spots’ using existing broadband connections.

Until now, people in Bradfield, which is in the Peak District National Park, have suffered from unreliable mobile coverage.

But Vodafone said its ROSS units in the area are already taking an average of 80 mobile calls and supporting 6,000 data sessions each day.

Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield and Hallam, said: “In the 21st century, so much of our everyday life is now dependent on technology, that’s why I believe it is vital that people and businesses be connected to the digital world.

“I am delighted that the people of Bradfield will now be able to enjoy fast and reliable 3G mobile coverage thanks to the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme.”

The ROSS programme is a national scheme by Vodafone UK to provide reliable mobile coverage to up to 100 rural communities in mobile not-spot locations.

Launched in July 2014, more than 40 communities are now live across the country from the Shetland Islands to the mountains of Snowdonia.

The ROSS programme uses ‘femtocell’ technology to bring 3G mobile access in places where networks can’t provide coverage through traditional means.

As part of the ROSS programme, Vodafone teams have 100 communities that were added to the programme at the end of last year, including ground assessments and checks of the fixed broadband in the area.

Some initial communities had their implementation postponed until their community broadband speeds and availability had improved, Vodafone said.

'Marginal coverage'

As well as using ROSS to plug rural not-spots, Vodafone is spending around £2bn on its network and services across the country over 2014 and 2015.

This includes the provision of high definition voice technology on its 3G network and the extension of its 4G coverage to 757 cities and towns and thousands of smaller UK communities.

Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK chief technology officer, said: “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.

“The number of calls and data sessions the Bradfield units are supporting every day, in an area where there was marginal coverage previously, shows the significant benefit the technology is making to members of the community.

“I am excited to see the transformation for Bradfield and other communities which have been successful for this pioneering programme.”

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