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Vodafone scheme brings 3G signal to Wiltshire not-spots

Thursday, October 22nd 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Residents of two Wiltshire villages are enjoying 3G coverage for the first time thanks to a Vodafone scheme.

Oare and Wilcot are the latest communities to benefit from the operator’s Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme, which is bringing 3G services to 100 mobile not-spots across the UK.

The two villages previously suffered from unreliable mobile coverage and slow network speeds.

Vodafone’s Open Sure Signal units – small masts about the size of a cereal box – connect to existing broadband lines to provide a 3G phone signal.

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes, said a reliable mobile signal is as important to the economy as fast roads and reliable railways.

“I am really pleased that Oare and Wilcot are now benefitting from improved mobile coverage with the Vodafone Rural Sure Signal Programme,” she said.

“This is a fantastic example of local communities, councils and consumer organisations working together to deliver communications fit for the 21st century.”

Chris Bartlett, the village champion for Wilcot, said: “Wilcot was this years’ winner of Wiltshire’s Best Kept Village award, and twice previously.

“Small, rural locations in conservation areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty can be very sensitive to any issues of planning and indeed to change.

“However, it’s also important that they are able to move forward and keep up with the times. Initiatives like Rural Open Sure Signal are a perfect demonstration of how these two things can be balanced.”

'Better reception'

Deirdre Nix, the village champion for Oare, added: “The sure signal has made a great deal of difference to reception at the north end of Oare village.

“This is particularly important for the primary school since it helps parents who are waiting to collect children stay in touch with older children at secondary school.

“Our residents on Vodafone are now able to use their phones in the house, not just in the garden.

“And when Duke of Edinburgh participants and walkers visit our area they now have much better reception, great for people on a great day out in Wiltshire, but also good to know that we have a good coverage near the village for emergency contact.”

As well as using ROSS to plug rural not-spots, Vodafone is spending around £2bn on its network and services across the country.

This includes the provision of HD (High Definition) Voice technology on its 3G network and the extension of its 4G coverage to 661 cities and towns and thousands of smaller communities across the UK.

Pictured, left to right, are Deirdre Nix (village champion for Oare), Chris Bartlett (village champion for Wilcot), Claire Perry MP and Graham Dunn of Vodafone.

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