Mobile Broadband Coverage Enhanced in Shetland Region

The 3G trial scheme started by Vodafone in the non-metropolitan regions of Shetland Island where there are no broadband facilities could provide faster mobile broadband services throughout the area.

Walls and Hamnavoe were locations that had been included in the list as places to participate in the femtocell know-how trial run by the network operator. This is basically a tiny cellular station that had been created to improve coverage indoors in regions where the reception was bad.

Vodafone have listed about 20 communities throughout the country for their trial scheme of which twelve of the locations would participate in the programme in the summer of the current year.

Shetland News reported that another 20 locations that would include Unst and Wormadale in Shetland have been put on a reserve list.

The working principle of the femtocell technology is more or less akin to the network provider’s Sure Signal facility that can be inserted into a broadband router to enhance the reception of broadband inside the home.

A representative for Vodafone while remarking about the trial scheme stated that the pilot runs required to be conducted in regions where there is no 3G broadband coverage, at the same time have Internet connectivity, a constant source of electricity and the requisite facilities to position the equipments on.

Those areas that have been short listed would be evaluated in detail by the carrier’s femtocell team members to view the logistical as well as the technological hurdles that the network operators would have to cross while conducting the trials and the final list of twelve regions would be named only after this evaluation.

The ultimate choice of locations will also be based on availing of local cooperation too stated the representative.

He said that it was imperative to bear in mind that the whole idea of these trial runs was to test the open femtocell know-how and to ensure that it is brought to a point where the carrier could provide the technology commercially to those regions where there have earlier been problems to offering coverage.

Alistair Carmichael, the MP for Orkney and Shetland had greeted the news of the pilot runs and stated that anything that could possibly improve broadband coverage on Shetland must be completely investigated.

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