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Vodafone boosts mobile coverage in Liverpool in time for Grand National

Friday, April 10th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Vodafone has announced investment in its network across Liverpool, including technology at Aintree Racecourse to help customers stay connected.

The operator has strengthened its 3G and 4G networks across the city, giving stronger indoor and outdoor signals, better coverage and faster mobile internet services to more consumers.

Its improvements include installing mobile technology inside the flagpoles at Aintree, giving race-goers the chance to stay connected at this weekend’s event, the highlight of which is the world-famous Grand National.

According to Vodafone, the upgrade forms part of its 2014 £1bn nationwide network and service investment programme, with a similar spend planned for this year.

The firm has upgraded around 70% of its sites across the city, replacing old equipment with new technology to provide better indoor and outdoor coverage for voice and data, as well as bringing more capacity to densely-populated areas.

As well as Aintree, buildings chosen to site the operator’s latest equipment include the Liverpool One Shopping Centre, where masts have also been installed within flagpoles.

Vodafone predicts its investment will extend mobile coverage to more than 98% of the city’s population, and said the network improvements had led to soaring mobile data traffic.

'3TB of data every day'

It said that customers in Liverpool on average are using more than 3TB of data every day, and the mobile data traffic sent and received daily in the city equates to a feature-length film being downloaded more than 800 times.

Additionally, over the last two years 50% of all network data usage peaks in the city were football-related, the operator said, citing spikes in traffic after major matches at Liverpool Football Club’s home ground Anfield.

Last week an Ofcom report found that Vodafone, which began offering 4G services at the end of summer 2013, provided the second fastest average 4G download speed at 16.4Mbps, behind EE which had 18.6Mbps. The average 4G download speed was 14.7Mbps.

Last month Vodafone announced it will launch two new technologies this summer to boost mobile coverage for its customers – wi-fi calling and Voice over LTE.

Wi-fi calling gives the user a voice signal without the need to go through an app by using existing wi-fi services, while VoLTE is a technology that carries voice calls over 4G instead of using 2G or 3G as they do today.

Both are also part of the £1bn Vodafone is spending on its network and services across the UK.

The operator, along with Three, EE and O2 have agreed to invest a total of £5bn to improve mobile coverage as part an agreement with the government.

They have already meet a 3G coverage obligation to reach 90% of UK premises, but now have until the end of 2017 to provide voice and text coverage across 90% of the UK’s landmass.

Earlier this week, Vodafone announced changes to its bundles that would give customers are getting more generous data allowances and access to its 4G network.

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