Micro networks connects rural blackspots
We have seen over a number of years a lot of talk and little action on the problem of covering rural mobile phone blackspots. However it does seem as though one service provider, EE is taking steps to fill the black hole by using new “micro network” technology that can be deployed without building masts and laying extra cables.
By using micro network technology, the main problem of the enormous cost of building large masts and laying cables across the countryside is overcome. The technology wirelessly connect small mobile antennas to nearby mobile masts, extending the coverage and capacity of the masts, this is a very cost effective way of connecting those homes that are hard to reach. Using only three or four small antennas, which can be clamped to any building in a few hours, this way about 100-150 homes and businesses, across an area of 0.5 square miles can be served.
The first area to receive this service has been the small village of Sebergham in Cumbria, which only has 129 homes and a population of just 347. The problem previously encountered here, was that it sat in a deep valley and experienced a poor mobile signal.
Government has said that it wants 90% of the population covered by 3g and only Vodafone has so far managed this, but as we have said previously, 90% of the population is not 90% of the country, far from it; as each of the four network providers only cover 80% of the country although that covers almost all of the population. What people want is not so much a 3g signal but reliable mobile phone coverage and possibly this micro network technology is the way to achieve it.