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Vodafone Get 200Mbps from 4G Mini Mobile Mast Trial in Cornwall

Monday, February 12th, 2018 (9:32 am) - Score 1,585
vodafone uk 4g mini mobile mast

Mobile operator Vodafone claims to be delivering Mobile Broadband speeds of more than 200Mbps, as well as a strong voice signal, to residents of the small coastal village of Porthcurno (Cornwall) by becoming one of the first in the UK to trial a new mini 4G mobile mast.

The telescopic mini mast stands just 8 metres high (once fully extended), which makes it around half the height of the shortest standard mast. The mini mast can also be painted to blend in with its environment in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and unlike other mobile masts, it does not require a large technology cabinet to house the power supply and electronics.

Apparently the new mast was developed in partnership with CommScope and is being targeted to help serve specific locations, such as rural hotels, leisure and retail parks, and tourist attractions. The masts are said to be “much quicker to install, taking around six months to become fully operational” (roughly a third of the time it takes to install a standard mast).

Scott Petty, Vodafone UK’s CTO, said:

“We’re working hard to connect customers across the UK and our new mini mast will help provide 4G in places where other networks struggle to reach, while minimising the visual and environmental impact. It forms part of our major investment in our network and services to provide our customers reliable coverage where they live, work and travel.”

Derek Thomas, MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives), added:

“The quality of mobile phone signal in West Cornwall is a subject that is regularly raised with me, as is the need to protect and preserve our countryside. This new mast offers the opportunity to reduce the visual impact of phone masts, whilst addressing people’s desire for improved connectivity. I’m pleased that the Vodafone mini mast is now in place and welcome any additional innovations that enable us to stay connected.”

We assume this sort if mast would be a lot cheaper to deploy, although the press release doesn’t cover specifics like that. A shorter mast may also struggle in the coverage department as the lack of height could present some problems, which may explain why it’s being targeted more toward specific areas of need.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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8 Responses
  1. Joe

    “A shorter mast may also struggle in the coverage department as the lack of height could present some problems, which may explain why it’s being targeted more toward specific areas of need.”

    Sounds ideal for villages in the bottom of a valley or coastal towns where that won’t matter much.

    6 Months? Is that inc planning

    • Mobile operators tend to announce trials after they’ve become a success rather than before they begin, with the exception of major 3G, 4G or 5G technology upgrades.

  2. Optimist

    One would have thought that Porthcurno, of all places, would have excellent connectivity…

  3. Gary Vanvleek

    Why not integrate with a lamppost to save cost, time and street clutter.

  4. Pat

    Sounds like it could prove useful for the likes of filling coverage blackspots in hamlets and small villages which might be otherwise be unviable, though as the report says we don’t know the cost compared to a run of the mill base station installation. And although 8 metres above ground isn’t very high, if it’s sited on high ground w.r.t. the surrounding terrain close by it can still give wide coverage. All depends on what & where it needs to be served and how it connects to backhand. Could also be a replacement for ROSS?

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