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Vodafone customers to benefit from new mobile signal technology

Wednesday, March 11th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Vodafone will launch two new technologies this summer to boost mobile coverage for its customers.

Wi-fi calling gives the user a voice signal without the need to go through an app by using existing wi-fi services.

It is particularly suited to customers living in areas where network coverage is limited or where it is difficult to get an indoor signal.

Vodafone is also set to launch Voice over LTE (VoLTE), a technology that carries voice calls over 4G instead of using 2G or 3G as they do today.

The company has been testing both technologies in its network laboratory for several months and now intends to start VoLTE user trials ahead of its commercial launch.

Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone UK CEO, said: “Our wi-fi calling service will ensure that our customers never miss a call.

“It is another important step towards our commitment to build the UK’s strongest converged network.”

The rollouts of wi-fi calling and VoLTE are part of £1 billion Vodafone is currently spending on its network and services across the UK.

In November last year Cable.co.uk reported how the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme was using ‘femtocell’ technology to bring reliable mobile coverage to rural communities.

ROSS builds on the technology in Sure Signal boosters used to improve indoor connectivity, with bigger boxes placed on buildings capable of providing a 3G signal to a wider area.

'Customers remain connected'

Dr Rob Matthews, Vodafone’s senior community manager, told us: “We want to provide coverage to our customers.

“We have a network plan that’s going to deliver 98% coverage to our customers, we have solutions such as ROSS that are going to keep delivering coverage to our customers.

“I think it’s important that we continue along that route, to keep innovating. And we’ll keep continuing to do that to ensure that our customers remain connected.”

Vodafone has also rolled out HD-quality voice calls, a service that activates automatically in areas covered by its 3G network, as well as carrier aggregation –also known as LTE Advanced or 4G+ – a technology that gives customers faster data speeds and boosts indoor coverage.

The UK’s four mobile network operators are obliged to invest a total of £5bn to improve mobile coverage as part an agreement with the government.

Vodafone, Three, EE and O2 have until the end of 2017 to provide voice and text coverage across 90% of the UK’s landmass.

They already meet a 3G coverage obligation to reach 90% of UK premises but this agreement aimed to improve the level of outdoor coverage.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “For far too long, too many parts of the UK have regularly suffered from poor mobile coverage, leaving them unable to make calls or send texts.

“Now at last we have progress that will give the UK the world-class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves.

“The deal will also bring £5bn investment by the mobile networks into the UK’s infrastructure, which will help drive this government’s long-term economic plan.”

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