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Vodafone scheme brings 3G mobile coverage to Wiltshire village

Tuesday, June 30th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Vodafone has brought 3G coverage to a former mobile not-spot in rural Wiltshire.

Broad Chalke is the latest community to receive mobile coverage through Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme.

The scheme uses 'femtocell' technology to bring reliable 3G voice coverage and mobile internet access to areas with little or no signal.

Broad Chalke, situated in the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has suffered from unreliable mobile coverage and slow network speeds.

It has now become the third Wiltshire village to benefit from the ROSS programme after Winterslow and Cranbourne were connected last year.

John Glen, the MP for Salisbury and South Wiltshire, said: “I am delighted that Broad Chalke has become the latest village to get a Vodafone 3G mobile signal through the ROSS programme.

“It is the second village in my constituency to benefit from this programme which has only been made possible because both local communities rolled up their sleeves and worked in partnership with Vodafone to bring mobile coverage to their villages for the first time.”

Stephen Whitmore, Broad Chalke’s ‘village champion’ and point of contact for Vodafone, said: “Broad Chalke Parish Council is grateful to Vodafone for installing the ROSS equipment in the village.

'Thriving village'

“It will make life easier for visitors and residents alike, and will encourage rural enterprise in our thriving village.”

Vodafone is planning to connect a total of 100 communities as part of the scheme and has now carried out ground surveys and broadband speed checks in each location.

Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK’s chief technology officer, said: “I am delighted that Broad Chalke has joined our Rural Open Sure Signal programme.

“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.

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

The ROSS programme is part a £2bn investment by Vodafone in its UK network and services throughout 2014 and 2015.

Other developments include the provision of HD voice technology on its 3G network and the extension of its 4G coverage to 564 cities and towns and thousands of smaller communities across the UK.

Picture courtesy of Nigel Freeman.

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