Robert Walter MP (North Dorset) will head to Cranborne in East Dorset on Friday, 15 March, to see how a new Vodafone pilot project is connecting villagers and local businesses in a former mobile phone black-spot.
Having successfully fulfilled the technical criteria for the trial, which included having no 2G or 3G signal and a sufficiently fast fixed-line broadband connection to support the Vodafone’s new Open Femtocell technology, Vodafone engineers visited local businesses and community buildings in the centre of Cranborne to position five Metro Cells – each the size of a home broadband router – to give the best signal cover to the village. The only cost to the trial community is the cost of power to each box.
Last month saw their successful installation and this Friday’s event will celebrate the technology’s official launch. As a supporter of the project Bob is delighted to have been invited to take part and looks forward to finding out how residents view the project now that it’s up and running.
Bob said, “I was thrilled to hear that the new technology had been successfully installed and that, for the first time, businesses, residents and visitors can make and receive mobile telephone calls from the heart of the village. I very much look forward to trying it out for myself!
“It is my sincere wish that the experience of these trials helps to deliver more solutions to rural areas affected by signal blackouts. The only down side with this particular technology is that it requires a solid broadband connection to work – something that remains a challenge that remains a challenge for parts of North and East Dorset.
“Thankfully, with the Superfast Dorset project well underway and innovative community broadband projects coming to the fore, rural communities do now have hope for the future.”