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Vodafone has a plan to bring mobile broadband to rural areas

Vodafone has promised to use its unused 4G spectrum to bring high-speed internet to areas with no access to fibre broadband.

Vodafone has unveiled plans to share its 4G spectrum with mobile service provider and member of the Digital Colony UK Infrastructure Platform StrattoOpencell with the aim of bringing connectivity to rural communities.

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The two companies have struck a three-year deal that allows StrattoOpencell to make efficient use of Vodafone’s spectrum and bring speeds of up to 120Mbps to fibre-less areas, beginning with a holiday site in Devon. The group will take advantage of Vodafone’s 2600MHz spectrum by deploying 4G outdoor small cells throughout the site before moving on to bring mobile data to consumers and businesses in wider rural areas.

“There remains a digital divide in connectivity options for those in UK’s urban centres and more rural areas,” said Digital Colony UK Infrastructure Platform CEO Graham Payne.

“We are delighted to join forces with Vodafone to bring a fresh approach to close this gap. We are pioneering new solutions and services as part of our neutral host approach to UK digital infrastructure, in order to connect more people and businesses to reliable networks. This new model takes the industry a significant step closer to enabling ubiquitous UK connectivity.”

Vodafone will be the first UK company to share its unused 4G spectrum to extend mobile broadband in rural areas and the first to support Ofcom’s move to liberalise the spectrum market with the aim of benefiting both the industry and consumers by allowing mobile operators to share 4G connections.

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“By offering some of our 4G spectrum to StrattoOpencell, we are helping to extend fast and reliable mobile network access for people in rural communities,” said Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery.

“Mobile connectivity in rural areas is just as important as it is for those in towns and cities, which is why we continue to work with others to help improve rural connectivity for all.”

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