Abbey St Bathans’ 3G mobile reception

Abbey St Bathans has been selected as one of the 100 rural communities across the UK to receive 3G under Vodaphone’s Rural Open Sure Signal 100 programme.

A rural mobile ‘not-spot’ the village in the Lammermuirs has suffered from unreliable mobile coverage and slow network speeds.

But all this should change with the installation of Vodafone’s innovative Sure Signal technology. The local community will benefit from high quality 3G voice services, and much needed access to the internet via mobile devices, contributing positively to business and everyday life.

Abbey St Bathan’s inclusion was announced this week, in the second phase of the programme to provide mobile and internet signals to rural communities.

Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone UK chief executive, said: “I am delighted Abbey St Bathans has been named as one of our 100 ROSS communities and I’m excited about the transformation this pioneering programme should bring to the community.

“We are committed to investing hugely in our network and using innovative technologies such as Sure Signal to provide coverage to rural communities means we can reach areas where it’s been impossible to reach using traditional means.”

Mobile connectivity plays a vital role in keeping communities in touch and helps support local economies. However, rural and remote locations often miss out on advantages provided by modern communication tools, due to the complexity of delivering network coverage.

This can be because of the geography of the area or difficulties with planning permissions in places of outstanding natural beauty.

The Rural Open Sure Signal programme uses innovative ‘femtocell’ technology to provide an alternative solution to bring mobile access in locations where it isn’t possible for networks to provide coverage through traditional means.

Borders MP Michael Moore said: ““This is an important development and I am delighted that Abbey St Bathans has made the short list. I have been encouraging local communities to apply for the scheme and I congratulate Abbey St Bathans on their success so far.”

Vodafone is spending more than £1 billion on its network and services across the country this year, including extending its 4G coverage to 351 cities and towns and thousands of smaller communities across the UK, pledgeding to provide coverage using 2G, 3G or 4G services to 98% of the UK population.