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Nextivity and Spry Fox Networks Bring 4G to Hampshire Village

Thursday, October 15th, 2020 (2:52 pm) - Score 840
spry_fox_Cel-Fi_booster

Locals in the rural Hampshire village of Kilmeston can now access a 4G mobile connection after Nextivity and Spry Fox Networks joined forces to donate their respective time and skillsets as a “gesture of good-will,” which has seen them deploy a new solution to help boost the local 4G mobile signal.

Previously trying to access a 4G or any kind of mobile broadband connection, particularly when inside local buildings, was an exercise in frustration and not even the local defibrillator – fixed to the wall just outside the village hall – could be used because a mobile signal is needed for it to be activated (not the best design, perhaps).

Kilmeston_village_hall

After being made aware of this Spry Fox Networks agreed to supply a set of specialist antennas (designed for areas with poor or no mobile coverage), while Nextivity similarly contributed a set of three Cel-Fi signal-boosters for installation in the front porch of the village hall.

The repeaters, along with the specialist antennas, exploit and amplify any available 4G signal regardless of the provider (EE, Three UK, Vodafone or O2). Even though the equipment is located indoors, it is now possible to activate the defibrillator and contact the emergency services because of “inevitable signal leakages associated with such equipment.”

Colin Abrey, Nextivity VP of International Sales EMEA, said:

“Lack of 4G coverage in rural communities can be alienating at the best of times because residents cannot take advantage of popular data-driven services such as online shopping, travel, social media or messaging.

However, lack of coverage quickly changes from being frustrating to dire if you need to raise the alarm.”

The fact that this was all donated is wonderful, although it’s unclear how much such a setup would cost if it were deployed on a commercial basis (likely to be a few thousand pounds). Hopefully the on-going work to extend mobile coverage via the new Shared Rural Network (SRN) project will eventually help to improve overall mobile coverage, but that won’t reach everywhere and in the meantime solutions like this still have a role to play.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar joe says:

    Great story. There ought to be a grant for such work really.

    ” fixed to the wall just outside the village hall – could be used because a mobile signal is needed for it to be activated (not the best design, perhaps).”

    Thats odd. Ours just needs a ‘1234’ punch code to open. You get the code from a villager or by phoning a number (landlines are fine)

    1. Avatar Sue Hunt says:

      Yes, I agree, getting access to the code is what is needed. I believe that is actually the point the article raising. It is unlikely you would have somebody who happens to know the code with you at the time should you need access and there is no landline at the defibrillator location. The fastest and safest way to access the defibrillator is to use a mobile phone, which we all carry with us these days.

  2. Avatar James Walter says:

    ‘Inside local builders’ beautiful image there!

  3. Avatar FTTP4ALL_UK says:

    A great story and something which should be encouraged, commended. It reminds me of how B4RN used local residents who were having Fibre installed to their premises help dig the trenches. I know it’s a slightly different story however, it shares many similarities with B4RN donating skills/time/labour to complete a project which in the end, will help enhance the locals quality of life..

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