Vodafone is planning 12 new trials using femtocell technology to provide voice, text and mobile broadband coverage in ‘not spots’ across the UK. It follows a trial in the Berkshire village of East Garston, where ‘open femto’ devices from Alcatel-Lucent have been installed in a handful of local properties. Further femtocells will soon be mounted on telegraph poles in partnership with BT Openreach.
Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, said “Bringing mobile coverage to communities can make a huge difference to people's lives. That is why the Government has pledged £150m to extending mobile coverage. It is good to see Vodafone looking for innovative ways to bring mobile coverage to rural areas. Anything that increases mobile coverage is to be welcomed. I urge areas without mobile coverage to get involved and see if this trial is suitable for them.”
The new trials will start early in 2012.