Vodafone shares unused 5G spectrum for rural broadband

Vodafone shares unused 4G spectrum for rural mobile broadband

03 October 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Vodafone is sharing some of its unused 4G spectrum with StrattoOpencell, an indoor mobile signal service provider, to offer high-speed mobile broadband to remote areas.

StrattoOpencell, part of the Digital Colony UK Infrastructure Platform, will use Vodafone’s 2600MHz frequency spectrum to offer mobile data speeds of up to 120Mbps to consumers and businesses without access to fixed fibre broadband. While Vodafone will continue to use the 2600MHz spectrum to provide increased mobile capacity for customers in busy locations such as stadium and city centres.

“Vodafone has a long history of innovation, from sending the first text message to conducting the first 5G holographic call. We are delighted to become the first mobile company in the UK to share some of our spectrum to extend rural coverage,” said Nick Jeffery (pictured), CEO, Vodafone UK. “By offering some of our 4G spectrum to StrattoOpencell, we are helping to extend fast and reliable mobile network access for people in rural communities. Mobile connectivity in rural areas is just as important as it is for those in towns and cities, which is why we continue to work with others to help improve rural connectivity for all.”

This spectrum sharing partnership forms part of Vodafone’s three-year agreement with StrattoOpencell and follows Ofcom’s decision in July of this year to allow mobile operators to share spectrum.

“There remains a digital divide in connectivity options for those in UK’s urban centres and more rural areas,” added Graham Payne, CEO, Digital Colony UK Infrastructure Platform. “We are delighted to join forces with Vodafone to bring a fresh approach to close this gap. We are pioneering new solutions and services as part of our neutral host approach to UK digital infrastructure, in order to connect more people and businesses to reliable networks. This new model takes the industry a significant step closer to enabling ubiquitous UK connectivity.”

The announcement supports Vodafone’s strategy of using new and innovative ways to extend fast and reliable mobile services to those in remote areas.

“Our new sharing approach aims to help more people access the airwaves they need to create local networks around the UK, including improving connections in rural areas. Vodafone and StrattoOpencell are the first to take advantage of this. We look forward to seeing how others use our new spectrum access approach to support innovation and enable local communities to have better connections,” continued Philip Marnick, group director of spectrum, Ofcom.