Vodafone customers living, working or visiting 57 rural communities and locations across the UK are now receiving 4G as part of Vodafone’s ongoing commitment to the nationwide Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme.
The arrival of Vodafone 4G at sites in locations from Orkney Islands to Devon means residents, businesses and visitors are now enjoying faster and more reliable data speeds as well as better quality voice calls.
The Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme is a £1bn joint initiative between Government and the UK’s four mobile network operators. The SRN initiative uses mast sharing on existing sites in rural areas where one or more but not all providers have coverage. It will also build new shared masts to connect areas that currently have no coverage at all and will result in a combined cross operator network reach of 95% UK landmass by the end of 2025.
Across the four UK operators – Northern Ireland will see 4G coverage rise to at least 85% of landmass, Scotland will rise to at least 74%, England will rise to 90% and Wales will rise to at least 80%.
Department for Science, Innovation & Technology Minister Julia Lopez, said: “The £1 billion Shared Rural Network is a key part of our plan to make patchy mobile phone reception a thing of the past and give people great connectivity wherever they live. Vodafone is working tirelessly to boost 4G coverage in rural areas and it’s great to see the progress being made. We are making sure our countryside communities don’t miss out on the speed and efficiency of internet services on the go – from keeping in touch with family to running a business.”
Andrea Dona, UK network and development director for Vodafone, said: “Connectivity is vital for everyone, which is why we are continually investing in our network. However, connecting rural and hard-to-reach parts of the UK can be difficult and restricted by cost. The Shared Rural Network initiative enables the UK network operators to work together so people living and working in such areas have a choice of network as well as the connectivity they need to support local and ultimately the wider UK economy.”
The activity builds on the multi-billion-pound investment Vodafone has already made to bring 4G coverage to 99% of UK premises. Vodafone is also exploring new mast technologies such as OpenRAN which is already starting to supporting delivery of coverage in a number of rural communities areas. Meanwhile, solutions like MyFarmWeb, offer an cloud-based platform app than enables farmers to store, visual and view information gathered through agricultural Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and other data sources in the field.
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