3G upgrade for Barra

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Vodafone UK has announced that the communities of Castlebay, Eoligarry, Barratlantic and Horve in Isle of Barra are four of the 100 successful communities in a rural mobile not-spot location which will receive 3G coverage under its Rural Open Sure Signal 100 programme.

The Barra communities have until now suffered from unreliable mobile coverage and slow network speeds.

With the installation of Vodafone’s innovative Sure Signal technology, the local community will benefit from high quality 3G voice services, and much needed access to the internet via mobile devices, contributing positively to business and everyday life.

The names of the second wave of communities to join the Rural Open Sure Signal 100 programme were announced today (Monday).

The list now includes 60 communities from across the UK including Croxton (Norfolk) Boat of Garten (Inverness-shire), Killeter (County Tyrone) and Bryneglwys (Denbighshire).

Vodafone will now start working with the Village Champion in each of these communities on this initiative, with the service going live next year.

Mobile connectivity plays a vital role in keeping communities in touch and helps support local economies.

However, rural and remote locations often miss out on advantages provided by modern communication tools, due to the complexity of delivering network coverage.

This can be because of the geography of the area or difficulties with planning permissions in places of outstanding natural beauty.

The Rural Open Sure Signal programme uses innovative ‘femtocell’ technology to provide an alternative solution to bring mobile access in locations where it isn’t possible for networks to provide coverage through traditional means.

Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone UK Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted the communities in Isle of Barra have been named as four of our 100 ROSS communities and I’m excited about the transformation this pioneering programme should bring to the community.

“The communities who have worked with us to introduce Open Sure Signal have all told us how life has improved markedly, from the ability to make an appointment at the local doctor to telling their families they are running late for lunch.

“We are committed to investing hugely in our network and using innovative technologies such as Sure Signal to provide coverage to rural communities means we can reach areas where it’s been impossible to reach using traditional means.”