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Vodafone to invest millions in Southampton 4G mobile network

Tuesday, May 26th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Vodafone has announced a major network investment in Southampton which will extend its 3G and 4G coverage to more than 98% of the city’s population.

The multi-million pound investment is part of a £2bn nationwide network spend by the provider across 2014 and 2015.

It is hoped to bring stronger indoor and outdoor coverage and mobile internet services across Vodafone’s 3G and 4G networks.

The investment is already benefiting customers in Southampton, Vodafone said, with mobile data traffic rocketing in the city.

According to the network, customers in Southampton on average are using more than a terabyte of data every day – comparable to watching an episode of “24: Live Another Day” 2,000 times or listening to the entire soundtrack from the first series around 6,000 times.

Most spikes in data usage in the area appear to be sport-related. One example was the recent Southampton Half Marathon, where the provider recorded the equivalent data usage of 80,000 hours of web browsing.

The average data traffic a week in Southampton is equal to browsing the internet for 520,000 hours – the equivalent of surfing the web for nearly 60 years.

Increased demand

Vodafone said it is aiming to upgrade all of its sites across the city, replacing old technology with new.

The move will create better indoor and outdoor coverage for both voice and data, while ensuring that concentrated areas of customers have the highest network capacity to cope with increased demand.

The investment in the area also stretches to Vodafone stores with plans for the Southampton branch to be refitted with a brand new look later in the year.

Vodafone has expanded its ultrafast 4G coverage to 535 larger cities, towns and districts as well as thousands of smaller communities across the UK.

Last month, Cable.co.uk reported that the Welsh town of Pontypridd had become the 500th community to get Vodafone’s 4G coverage.

The network had also previously announced that it plans to launch two new technologies this summer to boost mobile coverage for its customers.

The rollouts of wi-fi calling and Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) are part of £1bn Vodafone is currently spending on its network and services across the UK.

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 carries voice calls over 4G instead of using 2G or 3G as they do today.

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