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Vodafone to begin testing scheme to boost rural signal - in rural pubs

Vodafone recently announced their plans to use 'femtocells' disguised as birdboxes to reduce the number of 'notspots' across rural britain.

The Rural Community Pub program will see the network install their new 3G Femtocell boxes at 4 rural pubs across Norfolk and Wales.

British Pub

With hopes set upon the Premium Sure Signal solution to bring reliable indoor coverage to the surrounding areas. The femtocell technology, a box roughly the size of a broadband router will utilize the pubs current broadband connection to offer 3G coverage indoors.

Jorge Fernandes Vodafone UK's chief technology officer has said, "We are delighted to be able to help these rural pubs extend and broaden the vital range of services they provide to the communities they serve through the use of the latest mobile technology."

"Pubs up and down the UK are key to the economic and social well-being of rural communities and the country. By combining our innovative programmes, such as Rural Community Pubs and ROSS, with our current network improvement programme, we are calling time on no rural mobile coverage."

A report in January by the Department of Communities and Local Government shows that the average pub contributes around £80,000 to the economy each year.

The Cross Keys in Dilham (Norfolk) is the first pub to trial the Femtocell with Cross Keys landlord Paul Grothier saying that, "I’m really proud that The Cross Keys is the first pub to go live on the trial. Dilham is an area with very little mobile coverage and being on the Norfolk Broads, we get a lot of holiday makers coming into the pub who have previously been disappointed by the lack of coverage."

"Since the technology has gone live, the pub now has fantastic 3G coverage and fast data speeds. My customers, staff and business are reaping the benefits."