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Vodafone takes improved mobile services to Orkney

Monday, May 23rd 2016 by Ellen Branagh

A Vodafone scheme to take reliable 3G coverage to rural not-spots has reached its first Orkney community.

St Andrews is the first Orkney community to be connected on Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme, which provides mobile signal to places the network can’t reach traditionally.

The arrival of ROSS in the area comes as Vodafone also started to roll out its 4G network on Orkney, starting with Kirkwall (pictured).

Jorge Fernandes, chief technology officer for Vodafone UK, said: “It is great news that Kirkwall has become our latest 4G community.

“The arrival of 4G will bring faster internet speeds to customers whilst our overall network improvements in the town and across the area will ensure our customers enjoy stronger outdoor and indoor coverage.

“Local businesses will also be able to react faster to the needs of customers and introduce remote working practices for staff which can help reduce costs and increase productivity.”

The operator has also worked to improve its indoor and outdoor 3G network in the town.

Its ROSS programme uses femtocell technology to provide an alternative solution to bring 3G mobile access in locations where it isn’t possible for networks to provide coverage using traditional means.

The unit, which is about the size of a cereal box, is connected to local buildings including pubs, village halls and people’s homes to provide reliable 3G coverage to the community.

Network investment

The network improvements are part of Vodafone’s investment in its network and service.

The company said it has invested more than £2bn since 2014 and expects to invest another £2bn over the next three years.

It also plans to provide coverage using 2G, 3G or 4G services to 98% of the UK population and 90% of the UK’s landmass.

Last month Vodafone introduced a new network guarantee, allowing customers to cancel their contract within 30 days if they’re not happy with it.

The operator’s 30 Day Network Guarantee gives new and upgrading mobile customers 30 days to try the service, and leave with no strings attached if they're not happy.

The move came after Vodafone was named the UK’s most complained-about mobile provider after the number of complaints Ofcom received about the operator soared.

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