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Kent village becomes first in county to get 3G coverage from Vodafone scheme

Tuesday, May 3rd 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A Kent village has become the latest community to get decent mobile coverage thanks to Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme.

Iwade, which previously struggled with poor connectivity, now has a reliable 3G signal.

The village is the first in Kent to benefit from the scheme, which uses ‘femtocell’ technology to provide mobile access in places that can’t be covered by traditional methods.

ROSS units, about the size of cereal boxes, are installed on buildings and use existing broadband connections to provide a mobile signal.

Gordon Henderson, the MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppe, said: “Being able to communicate quickly and effectively by mobile phone or the internet is something that most people take for granted.

“However, there are many rural communities who do not have that ability because of the lack of a signal.

“Iwade is such a community, so I am delighted that Vodafone has chosen the village to become the first place in Kent to be part of their ROSS programme and will now have access to a decent 3G internet connection.

“There are a number of other communities in my constituency, including the east end of Sheppey, where mobile phone reception is very poor, or non-existent, and I very much hope that at some time in the future more of our villages will be included in the programme so that they too can benefit from what is a very exciting initiative.”

'Transformation'

Iwade’s village champion, Matt Gale, said: “The lack of a mobile signal has always been an issue within our community and I am proud to have delivered the ROSS ‎project with Vodafone to Iwade and hope that at least some of our residents have benefited.

“I would like to thank Jamie Dicker of Iwade Garage, Samantha Toms of Iwade Medical Centre, Jim Fisher of Iwade School and resident Jon Roberts for their assistance and support in the project.”

Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone’s chief technology officer, said: “I am delighted that Iwade has joined our ROSS programme.

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

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

Picture courtesy of Richard Dorrell.

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