Vodafone Community Indoor Sure Signal (CISS) will bring essential indoor 3G mobile coverage to rural community hubs for the first time CISS builds on the success of Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) which is currently giving 3G mobile access to five communities across Berkshire, Hampshire and Kent
A new programme designed to inject lifeblood into rural community hubs by providing reliable, indoor mobile coverage and internet access has been launched by Vodafone UK. The Community Indoor Sure Signal (CISS) programme, which will be open to up to 100 rural community hubs and builds on the success of Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) which now provides 3G mobile access to more than 80 rural communities including five communities across Berkshire, Hampshire and Kent.
Following a successful pilot at The Bear and Ragged Staff in Bransford, near Worcester, Vodafone is calling for applications from rural community centres across the South East such as independent or community run pubs and shops, village halls, scout huts, doctor’s surgeries or visitor centres that do not have reliable mobile coverage, to apply for the programme.
If successful, Vodafone will give the centre an Open Sure Signal box which will bring Vodafone indoor 3G mobile coverage to create an essential rural community hotspot for the first time. This will bring both 3G voice and data coverage ensuring both employees and visitors to the community hubs will be able to make both calls and use data on their mobile phones or tablets. The application process will be open until 1 September 2016 with the first communities selected being announced in the autumn.
Vodafone Community Indoor Sure Signal uses ‘femtocell’ technology, with units about the size of a domestic broadband box, similar to that being deployed by Vodafone to connect UK rural communities through its Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme. Vodafone’s ‘femtocell’ schemes, such as its successful ROSS programme and Rural Community Pub pilot, have helped bring reliable 3G mobile coverage to more than 80 rural communities across the UK using existing fixed broadband connections and without the need for a traditional mast.
Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer, said: “By installing our units, we can ensure that these vital rural hotspots continue to play an important role in rural community life. We call for rural community hubs across the South East to apply.”
In order for the technology to work, the rural community centre requires an existing broadband connection with unlimited broadband package, download speeds of at least 4Mbps download and 2Mbps upload speeds and a power source (normal 3-pin plug). The applicant will also require the broadband bill payer’s permission.
Further information and application details are available at vodafone.uk/CISS