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Witherslack Village Joins Vodafone UK Open Femto Mobile Broadband Trial

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 (9:15 am) - Score 806

The rural village of Witherslack in Cumbria (England) has become the latest to be selected by Vodafone to take part in its on-going trials of Open Femto technology, which is designed to boost Mobile Broadband speeds and coverage by connecting into an existing fixed line internet service (ISP).

The Open Femto trial, which involves Femtocell devices being installed at the top of BT’s local telegraph poles and or payphones, was first announced last November 2011 (here) and originally intended to get underway during “early 2012“.

Since then the operator has had applications from around 100 rural communities across the United Kingdom, although only 12 have been selected for its final trial.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said:

This is great news for Witherslack and for South Lakes. Vodafone are keen to go ahead because they’ve seen that there is a huge need for mobile broadband in our area and they’ve met the local people who want to make it a reality.”

The news is particularly relevant given O2 and Vodafone’s newly approved network sharing agreement (here) and this week’s announcement of an earlier than expected 4G auction and subsequent service launch (here).

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