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New mast to bring mobile signal to Dorset not-spot

Wednesday, May 27th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Vodafone customers in a rural part of Dorset are now able to get reliable mobile signal thanks to a newly-built mast.

The operator has announced that a new mast in Portesham, Dorset has gone live, bringing reliable 3G and 4G coverage to the community for the first time.

The mast is part of the Government’s Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which aims to extend mobile phone coverage to areas where no coverage is currently available.

The government is providing capital funding for infrastructure company Arqiva to build the new site infrastructure, while mobile network operators such as Vodafone will be providing coverage from the sites.

Sites need to meet a number of criteria before they can proceed to the ‘build stage’ for the MIP. They must be economic to acquire, build and run; need to have a power source within reasonable reach; access back to the mobile operators’ networks; be sufficiently accessible to build and operate; and cover sufficient people to make the investment of public money worthwhile.

The new mast in Portesham means Vodafone customers who live in and visit the area will be able to connect to the internet, while businesses will also see improved productivity.

Jorge Fernandes, chief technology officer for Vodafone UK, said: “Our improvements in Portesham will ensure our customers enjoy stronger outdoor and indoor coverage, whilst 4G will help local businesses react faster to the needs of their customers and introduce remote working practices for staff, which can help reduce costs and increase productivity.”

'Major boost for local people'

West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin welcomed the news.

He said: “This will be a major boost for local people and businesses, giving them access to the mobile internet and all the benefits it brings.”

Vodafone is spending around £2bn on its network and services across 2014 and 2015.

The cash injection will strengthen its existing mobile phone services across the UK, bringing stronger indoor and outdoor network coverage and mobile internet access to more communities and businesses.

As part of the £2bn spend, 4G has been extended to more than 500 larger cities, towns and districts as well as thousands of smaller communities across the UK.

The operator is also planning to provide coverage using 2G, 3G or 4G services to 98% of the UK population.

Its Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme also aims to give 100 remote communities across the UK 3G coverage for the first time.

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