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Vodafone shares unused 4G spectrum to boost rural areas connectivity

Paul Lipscombe
October 2, 2019

It follows Ofcom’s decision in July to allow spectrum sharing 

Vodafone has become the first UK operator to share unused 4G spectrum as part of an effort to improve mobile broadband coverage across rural areas.

The operator has partnered with mobile service provider StrattoOpencell – who are part of the Digital Colony UK Infrastructure Platform – to provide remote areas with fibre connectivity a ‘high-speed mobile broadband’.

StrattoOpencell will use Vodafone’s 2,600MHz frequency spectrum which will deliver speeds of up to 120Mbps to consumers and businesses, but Vodafone will still continue to use its 2,600MHz spectrum in busy areas such as stadiums and city centres.

Ofcom’s decision earlier this year for operators to share spectrum has contributed to the partnership being made possible, with a holiday site in Devon one of the first benefactors of this.

Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery has hailed the move to share 4G spectrum.

“We are delighted to become the first mobile company in the UK to share some of our spectrum to extend rural coverage.

“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. 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.”

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

“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.”

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