3G Mobile Network
Three Rutland villages are being put forward as potential trial areas for new mobile phone technology that provides 3G network coverage in rural villages.
3G coverage provides access to the internet through your mobile phone and is already available in most big towns and cities around the country. However, in rural areas like Rutland, coverage is extremely limited and in many cases non-existent.
That could be about to change as Vodafone is currently looking for 12 communities across the UK to take part in a 3G trial next year.
Deputy Leader of Rutland County Council, Terry King commented: “The council was made aware of this project and encouraged to put forward three villages that met the trial criteria. We have nominated Edith Weston, Greetham and Langham and although we recognise that the chances of one of them being selected are slim, it’s certainly worth trying to get at least one of our local villages included in this trial.”
Terry King added: “In parts of Rutland where it can prove difficult to get a mobile phone signal, mobile broadband is a distant dream. However, this new technology aims to break down those barriers and we feel strongly that a Rutland village would make a perfect trial area. We have people living in our villages who have an iPhone or other Smartphone yet they can’t use it to check emails or surf the web whilst out and about. It would make a huge difference to our local residents if the 3G network was upgraded”.
The 12 new trials, which will start early in 2012, build on the experience already gained by a continuing pilot programme in the West Berkshire village of East Garston.
The continuing trial in East Garston has seen 3G devices placed in the local pub, outside the village hall, social club and post office and even in the roof of an old red telephone box.
It’s expected that the successful 12 areas in the UK that will trial the new 3G network coverage will be announced next year.
This scheme is completely separate to the Digital Rutland project that plans to improve the local broadband infrastructure by 2013.
Last month (November), Ofcom published its ‘State of the Communications Nation’ report which shows that the geographic coverage of 3G services is ‘concentrated in urban areas’.
An improved infrastructure will enable internet service providers to provide faster broadband in Rutland. It’s then hoped that most local residents will start to see the cost of monthly broadband fall as greater competition is attracted to Rutland.