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Vodafone has brought 4G to Longnor

28th July 2020

Longnor 5G

While the UK’s cities and large towns are rapidly starting to get 5G, some rural locations still don’t even have 4G, but Vodafone – and the other UK networks – are working hard to change that, with Vodafone for example having just switched on the tech in Longnor.

This is a rural village in the Peak District, which previously only had significant 4G coverage from O2 (EE claims to only have outdoor 4G coverage, and Three has no 4G there).

So now those who live in the region will have a realistic choice between O2 and Vodafone, while visitors on Vodafone will also benefit from the roll out of 4G.

Thank the SRN

It’s no accident that O2 also has 4G coverage there though, as in fact Vodafone used O2’s existing mast to bring 4G coverage to the area. This was possible due to the £1 billion Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative – an initiative between the UK government and the four main networks to extend 4G coverage to 95% of the UK’s landmass.

This will be achieved through sharing masts in areas where one or more but not all networks have coverage (as seen here with Vodafone using O2’s site), as well as by building new shared masts in areas that have no coverage at all.

Scott Petty, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone UK, said: “The cost of connecting rural hard-to-reach parts of the country has meant that some communities don’t have a choice of network providers. The Shared Rural Network initiative changes that.

“We have been able to work closely with O2 to use their existing site to provide additional 4G coverage for Longnor. This will mean we can give people living and working in remote locations across the UK a choice of networks, and that a rural postcode is no longer a barrier to connectivity.”

Longnor isn’t the first location to benefit from the SRN initiative, as in June, Vodafone also brought 4G to the Welsh village of Devauden through the initiative.

The goal of the SRN is to bring 4G coverage to 95% of the UK by the end of 2025, so it will take a while, but in the process it’s set to provide guaranteed coverage to 280,000 premises and 16,000km of roads. So it will be a big improvement for currently cut-off parts of the UK.

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