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Vodafone UK Could Boost Mobile Cover in the Shetland Islands with Femtocells

Tuesday, Apr 17th, 2012 (4:04 pm) - Score 1,286

Mobile operator Vodafone UK has announced that two communities in the remote Shetland Islands (North of Scotland, UK), Hamnavoe and Walls, could soon benefit from faster mobile phone and Mobile Broadband connectivity after they were shortlisted to take part in the operators Open Femto trial.

Vodafone announced plans to run its Open Femto trial in 12 rural UK communities last November 2011 (here). Under the operators plan, Femtocell devices would be installed on top of telegraph poles, which would boost mobile performance and coverage by connecting into an existing fixed line broadband ISP service. Naturally you’d need to be a Vodafone customer in order to benefit.

Local MP Alistair Carmichael said (Shetland Times):

Poor mobile phone signal remains a real problem across Orkney and Shetland. Any solutions that could boost coverage need to be explored fully. News that Walls and Hamnavoe are on the formal shortlist for the next stage of Vodafone’s pilot project is a positive step in this regard.”

The Shetland Islands has recently become an increasingly attractive location for such a pilot because of the remote / rural environment and the fact that Shetland Telecom has just successfully connected up its new fibre optic infrastructure to the undersea SHEFA-2 cable, which links the Faroe Islands to mainland Scotland (UK).

Vodafone plans to commence its trials in “early 2012” and has also put the local communities of Unst and Wormadale on its “reserve list“. Credits to Thinkbroadband for spotting this news.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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