Home » Parish Council Notices » Micro network may offer big rewards for Chedworth

The Parish Council has learned of a new opportunity which may improve mobile coverage in the village for all users of the EE Network and provide emergency coverage for  everyone without the need for a mast.

EE’s Micro Network uses small aerials which are 50cm high and 18cm wide and are fixed to buildings and could link to the main network through either existing masts or the new Gigaclear fibre system. The installation also has some other electrical components associated with it which are located in a cabinet at ground level.

In order for EE to consider such a project in Chedworth there must be ‘community agreement’ to take part in the scheme and Iain Robertson, who recently attended a meeting at the county council when the idea was raised, is currently investigating exactly what agreement EE would require.

The aerials would provide outdoor voice and data on 3G and 4G and indoor coverage to most properties. While it would only be available for customers who use the EE network, it would give all mobile phone users access to emergency services which automatically connects to any available network even if the handset shows ‘no signal’. The EE network is used not only by EE but also BT Mobile, Virgin Mobile, ASDA Mobile and Co-operative Mobile as well as a number of smaller providers.

It is still early days with this opportunity and the exact number of aerials required and their location is not yet known. It would be interesting to hear from anyone with a property in a poor area of mobile phone signal who would potentially be willing to have such an aerials installed on their building. EE requires free sites and mains power but reimburses the costs of any power use.

Since the Government’s Mobile Infrastructure Programme came to an end there has been no government finance available to improve mobile coverage in areas such as Chedworth. The current policy direction appears to be one of requiring the four main network operators to invest in coverage improvement as part of their licence conditions.

The parish council has continued to look at ways to address the problem and a discussion paper which investigates the various options is available on our website.

We will be discussing the idea of putting Chedworth forward for the EE Micro Network at our meeting on 8th August.

Ros Jess

5 thoughts on “Micro network may offer big rewards for Chedworth

  1. David Musgrave says:

    Iain, I’ve been with Vodafone Sure Signal since it was introduced, and have been following the development of the latest ‘Rural’ version. We have 4 Vodafone devices: therefore, in principle, I’d be inclined to get involved with this system for a possible site for an aeriel. Beter still, the big 4 should combine to solve the rural not spot issue – too much to ask for?

    1. admin says:

      David,

      To answer your points:

      1. According to Vodafone “There are no further trials or rollouts planned for the Rural Open Sure Signal scheme at the moment”. I found this at the bottom of the page on Vodafone’s website – http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/t5/Vodafone-Sure-Signal/Vodafone-Rural-Open-Sure-Signal-ROSS100/td-p/2222467 . I have not found any statement elsewhere to contradict this. If anyone does have influence or contacts within Vodafone to alter this situation please let me know.
      2. One of the major difficulties in implementing the MIP scheme was getting the 4 mobile network operators (MNO’s) to work together. Now MIP is finished there is no financial incentive or legal pressure for the MNO’s to combine forces to solve the rural coverage issue. In my view we are on our own seeking whatever opportunities arise. Hence pursuing this chance with EE.

      Iain

      1. David Musgrave says:

        Iain, Thanks for your comments. I’m not beating a drum regarding Vodafone. But why not seek a view from Vodafone, acceting that it might be all be too late for Chedworth. I’m happy to give them a call – it only costs a bit of personal time. If the CPC go for EE, then no problems. As you say, getting the 4 MNO’s to work together was, and is, a major difficulty. Therefore, best we grab whatever comes along, a’la Gigaclear. Let me know if you think calling Vodafone is worth the candle. Who knows, we might just get EE and Vodafone at 2 for the price of one (if the respective ae sites were to be agreed).

        1. David Musgrave says:

          Iain, as we discussed over the phone, I’ve now contacted Vodafone. Its ‘Rural Open Sure Signal’ (ROSS100) programme is now closed, and has been replaced by a ‘Community Indoor Sure Signal’ (CISS100) programme. See http://blog.vodafone.co.uk/2016/07/07/ciss100-reliable-indoor-signal-pub/

          As I interpret, CISS is essentially the same as the domestic Sure Signal. As such – and unlike the ROSS and EE systems – it does not offer a community-wide micro network. Rather, it merely offers coverage in a single community building. Applications need to be in by 1 Sep 16, but there seems no contest when compared with the EE initiative.

  2. Dee Greatorex says:

    Iain,
    Tony and I both use ‘ee’ and would definitely be interested in this scheme. We get no mobile phone coverage at all were we live and it does cause us problems. Dee

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