Vodafone completes 100 remote not-spot fixes

Vodafone completes 100 remote not spot fixes

About a year ago we covered the not-spot fixing being undertaken by Vodafone. Rural hamlets and villages, traditionally lacking any kind of signal, were getting outdoor “Sure Signal” boxes installed to boost coverage.

The “Open Sure Signal” tech delivers 3G and voice / text coverage by hooking into the nearest broadband connection and are then secured to the top of a building.

How much coverage do they provide? According to Vodafone these clever boxes, which are no bigger than a cereal box, give coverage over a 500 metre radius. It might not sound like much, but in a small secluded village it can make all the difference, plus additional units can be added to create a macro-network.

Each village puts forwards possible sites, which have broadband access, and then Vodafone themselves deploy the units (rather than any third party) depending on the “shape” of the community. They’re usually installed on chimneys and other tall structures, but the process over the last year has been a steep learning curve for the network, who have had to battle with incredibly strict planning regulations, varying broadband speeds and some sites which needed broadband installing from scratch.
Vodafone completes 100 remote not spot fixes

The latest three communities in their project (called “ROSS” for Rural Open Sure Signal) have now gone live – Broad Chalke in Wiltshire and both Chillaton and Lifton in Devon.

Vodafone network brain-box, Dr Rob Matthews, tells us..

These sites mark the first time that we’ve done the installation ourselves – now – ordering the broadband, managing the broadband, installing the devices, getting them running and monitoring them. We didn’t do all that before so there’s new learning points at every step – things like asbestos surveys, lightning protection and all the other things you have to consider as part of a building exercise. It’s a massive task, but now that we’ve got the grounding it’s going to help us with all the other villages going forward. We’re able to really motor now to get villages up and running with our 3G.

EE are also doing something similar, but we’d love to see a big push by all networks to plug those remote gaps in the network and also provide at least 3G in areas bathed in GPRS and Edge.

Get all the detail on the project here on the Vodafone blog and via vodafone.co.uk/rural.

The post Vodafone completes 100 remote not-spot fixes is original content from Coolsmartphone.


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  • Mozilla launches Firefox OS phones in Morocco and Senegal

    Firefox OS might be in a distant fourth place (or further?) here domestically, but Mozilla sees plenty of value for it in emerging countries. Specifically? Senegal and Madagascar in Africa, where it recently partnered with French telecom Orange to launch the KLIF. And no, you aren't wrong, it's neither a flip-phone or a slider. Nor is it transparent. A Mozilla blog post says that the main idea with this 3G smartphone is to get more people online in places where they previously couldn't. It's the web outfit following through on a promise it made back at Mobile World Congress in Spain, and the Middle East is where we'll see the initiative pop up next.

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    Via: The Verge

    Source: The Mozilla Blog (official)

    The story of the mobile phone

    Last night I stumbled across an old video from 1979 which showed something that was pretty amazing at the time. A truly portable phone.

    It started me on a bit of a journey into the history of mobile phones, so here’s what I’ve dug out of the archives.

    You were able to use a system before true mobile phones became commonplace. It was called the “Post Office Radiophone Service” here in the UK, and had been running since 1959. Here’s a typical bit of kit…

    The story of the mobile phone

    Image from QSL.net

    It’s less of a phone and more of a walkie-talkie really. Even earlier, in the 1940’s, AT&T ran a Mobile Telephone Service. Although “cells” were being discussed in 1947, the systems at this time didn’t have any hand-over, so you stayed on one base station throughout the call and you needed an operator in-between. Using your “VHF radio” (for that’s what the 36kg subscriber equipment was), you’d contact the operator who would contact a land line and patch you through. Likewise, to receive a call someone would have to get hold of the operator and ask for your device. You can learn more on this BT page.

    The story of the mobile phone

    However, as the years passed they became more popular and more VHF channels were added. Despite this, demand was high and customers had to wait to place calls as channels were in use by others.

    Fast-forward to 1979 and Margaret Thatcher has just become the Britain’s first female prime minister. A BBC TV programme called “Tomorrow’s World” regularly showed off the latest in tech and new inventions. Apart from shows like the “Gadget Show”, there’s not really anything like it on TV now, but here’s an experimental cordless mobile phone which could direct-dial into the standard land line network.

    It was perhaps the first time anything like it had ever been seen. Imagine seeing this guy walking down the street in 1979 with a rotary phone to his ear. Would people have seen it as amazing or crazy? Sure, this was effectively just a standard phone plugged into the radio you saw above, but it was a sign of things to come. The next few years saw some really big changes..

    Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, had been working on the “first handheld mobile phone” since around 1973 and it hit the market in 1983. It was a battery and a phone all in one and operated on the “1G” analogue cellular phone network. The first phone he created (the DynaTAC) had just a 20 minute talk-time but, at 1.1kg in weight, he admitted that this wasn’t really a problem “because you couldn’t hold that phone up for that long”. Despite this, it was a major shift from the original car phones which needed about 12kg of kit in the boot.

    The story of the mobile phone

    The shift towards “2G” digital cellular networks didn’t really happen until the 90’s, with GSM here in Europe and CDMA in the USA. The larger “brick” phones started to shrink and, shown here in 1988 with Prince Charles, a new smaller phone made by Nils Martensson is demonstrated to the world..

    Nils founded a company called Technophone Ltd, but it was then taken over by Nokia in 1991 and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Is that it? Well, almost. We’re now finishing the era of 3G and pushing into 4G and beyond, but let’s wind back to 1922 for a moment because amazingly they were dabbling with mobile technology some 93 years ago.

    Describing the clip below, Simon Atkins an Ex-Royal Signals officer, states..

    The two ladies are using a small simple HF radio, probably a ‘Cat’s Whisker’ type. For it to work it needs to be earthed, which is why it’s connected to the fire hydrant. The antenna or aerial is the wire in the umbrella. On the receiving end the telephonist is using an HF radio and puts the microphone next to the record player. For the two ladies to hear she would be pressing the pressel switch.

    So, if you didn’t mind carrying an umbrella and a big transmitter then earthing yourself to street furniture, you could indeed communicate (albeit with HF standard radio via an operator) with others….

    If there’s anything you think I’ve missed here or something you feel we should include, do let me know.

    The post The story of the mobile phone is original content from Coolsmartphone.


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  • Ericsson intensifies legal pressure on Apple over patents, seeks iPhone sales ban

    iPhone 6 promo video (A8 chip 001)

    Following a $533 million loss in a lawsuit a small Texas-based company leveled against it over patent violation, Apple is now facing new legal challenges.

    As reported Friday, the Swedish telecommunications giant has unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker.

    The move follows Apple’s refusal to re-sign a global licensing contract with Ericsson in mid-January. Bloomberg noted that Apple had been paying royalties for Ericsson’s patents related to mobile technologies, but the global license agreement expired last month and hasn’t been renewed since.... Read the rest of this post here

    "Ericsson intensifies legal pressure on Apple over patents, seeks iPhone sales ban" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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    Karbonn A19 now available in the UK

    Wait a minute, just a few minutes ago we reviewed the dual-core 1.2GHz Karbonn A5S. It’s about £70 but, for £85.54 you can get this, the Karbonn A19.

    It has an ever-so-slightly faster CPU – a dual-core 1.3GHz CPU. It also has a better camera (8 megapixel instead of the 5 megapixel on the A5S) but, apart from a bigger screen (5″ 854 x 480) it’s the same 4GB on-board storage, 512MB RAM and VGA front cam.

    Screenshot 2015-01-12 at 22.38.50

    A 1600mAh battery is powering this and it’s dual SIM but again, there’s no 4G. It’s cheap though, so…

    Personally I wouldn’t mind a quick dabble with their higher-end phones – the Karbonn S6 and Karbonn Sparkle V, but hey, these are entry level and priced that way.

    More details below.

    Karbonn A19 now available in the UK is original content from coolsmartphone.com

    Verizon gets ready to shut down its 3G networks as LTE takes over

    Motorola Droid Turbo for Verizon

    Verizon may not be releasing its first LTE-only phones until 2016, but it's already preparing for the day when its legacy CDMA and EV-DO networks ride into the sunset. Wireless tracker Milan Milanovic has discovered that the carrier is now using LTE data in Cleveland and Manhattan on 1,900MHz frequencies that were previously reserved for EV-DO (3G) service. Don't expect more bandwidth in your neck of the woods just yet, though. Verizon tells GigaOM that this is just a test -- it's not yet ready to make an official transition.

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    Source: GigaOM, Milan Milanovic (Howard Forums)

    Vodafone’s HD Voice launch leaves O2 customers as the odd ones out

    Tin Can String

    HD Voice technology isn't particularly new -- in fact, some UK operators have supported it since as far back as 2010. Very few devices were HD-capable back then, though, but lots of modern smartphones are now suitably equipped, leading other carriers to get their acts together. Today, Vodafone announced it's joining the party, letting anyone with a supported handset make HD calls to others on the same network. HD Voice, if you weren't aware, widens the frequency range of your call, ensuring conversations almost sound like you're talking to someone face-to-face. Today's launch means O2 is now the only major UK carrier not offering the feature, and it says it has no official plans to either. Given most smartphone usage is dedicated to messaging and photo apps these days, today's launch might not excite Vodafone customers all that much. The difference in quality is noticeable though, so prepare to feel like someone's living inside your head the first time a call connects in HD.

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    Via: CoolSmartphone

    Source: Vodafone Blog

    EE data still down


    On EE? Got data issues? Yeah, you’re not the only one. This evening, and for a number of hours now, data connectivity issues have continued to plague users.

    The most recent update we have now is from the EE community section, and this is being given out to the Twitter questions.

    Screenshot 2014-09-10 at 22.49.13

    Issues seem to have begun around 6PM judging by the emails we’ve received. EE are currently getting swamped on Twitter with complaints about the outage, which seems to be across the UK.

    Update – This now seems to have been fixed and data connectivity has returned.

    Update 2 – As of Thursday morning it seems that problems are continuing. EE tell us that customers still have intermittent data connectivity ..

    Update 3 – EE now (09.40 on Thursday September 11th) state that the problem is resolved and that you should reboot if you’re still having issues.

    EE data still down is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

    Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch doesn’t need a phone to get online or make calls

    Samsung is taking the wraps off of yet another new smartwatch, but the Gear S (not Solo) has a twist: there's a 3G modem inside. While it may not be especially fast, that means that even when outside the range of a Bluetooth-connected phone or WiFi, it can still send and receive messages or make calls. It has a 2-inch AMOLED screen plus a dual-core 1GHz CPU inside along with GPS, heart rate and motion sensors, all powered by a 300mAh battery Samsung says can last up to two days. It runs Tizen instead of Android Wear, with pedestrian navigation available from from Nokia's HERE and support for Facebook. In the run up to IFA next week Samsung is also bringing the Gear Circle headset (yes, we also figured they'd save that name for a round watch) that pairs with a phone over Bluetooth, letting users hear notifications, use voice commands or listen to music through the earbuds.%Gallery-slideshow217933%

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    Source: Samsung

    O2 deliver free 4G access to some customers


    I’ve a couple of questions for you. Firstly, are you on O2? Do you have a package providing 1GB or more of data per month ? If so, you’re in luck, because O2 seem to be delivering access to their 4G network for free if you tick those two boxes.


    Our very own Philip Nowlan is only paying £17.45 per month for his two year deal and he’s just been informed by O2 that he will get access to their 4G network. If you’re wondering whether the 4G speeds have arrived near you, check out the O2 coverage checker.


    This is pretty good news, although if you’ve “only” got 1GB you could burn through it pretty quickly with that 4G technology.

    O2 deliver free 4G access to some customers is original content from Coolsmartphone.com