Nothing is more irritating than being stuck in a signal black spot, especially if that black spot is your house. While the government has been trying lots of ways to increase phone coverage, the fact is you need more masts to boost signal and installing them takes time and money. Vodafone has a new potential solution, however, having successfully tested its first 4G mini mast.
The mast was tested in Porthcuno in Cornwall, successfully offering speeds up to 200MBps. With a maximum height of eight metres it's also half the size of a regular phone mast, and its six month installation time is a third of that required by it larger counterparts. What's more Vodafone claims that each mast doesn't need a large cabinet to house the power supply and other electronics, as well as the fact it can be painted to blend in with the surrounding environment.
The mini mast was developed in conjunction with infrastructure technology company CommScope, with the aim of placing them at rural hotels, retail parks, and tourist attractions. There's no information on the area a mini mast can cover, but since they're smaller than conventional phone masts then it's sensible to assume they don't have the same level of range.
Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty said:
“We’re working hard to connect customers across the UK and our new mini mast will help provide 4G in places where other networks struggle to reach, while minimising the visual and environmental impact. It forms part of our major investment in our network and services to provide our customers reliable coverage where they live, work and travel.”
Derek Thomas, MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives), added:
“The quality of mobile phone signal in West Cornwall is a subject that is regularly raised with me, as is the need to protect and preserve our countryside. This new mast offers the opportunity to reduce the visual impact of phone masts, whilst addressing people's desire for improved connectivity. I'm pleased that the Vodafone mini mast is now in place and welcome any additional innovations that enable us to stay connected.”