Rural mobile phone customers gain 3G coverage

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In an experiment aimed at bringing 3G mobile coverage to remoter areas, a mobile phone company has installed new equipment in the village of Walls.

Like many small communities, Walls (pronounced Waas) hasn't enjoyed the level of access to mobile phone services enjoyed in towns and cities. The basic mobile signal is poor or non-existent.

In an attempt to put this right, Vodafone has installed four small cells in locations around the village. The units can be sited wherever there's a reasonably fast broadband connection and each of them has a range of up to 300 metres. The system is very similar to the SureSignal service already offered by Vodafone to individual users.

Walls was one of 170 communities across the UK that sought to become part of the experiment. If the trial is successful, the technology could be adopted by many small villages and hamlets that are beyond the range of conventional mobile services.