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Vodafone UK gets 200Mbps from 4G mini mobile mast trial

Mobile operator Vodafone claims to be delivering Mobile Broadband speeds of more than 200Mbps, as well as a strong voice signal, to residents of the small coastal village of Porthcurno (Cornwall) by becoming one of the first in the UK to trial a new mini 4G mobile mast.

The telescopic mini mast stands just 8 metres high (once fully extended), which makes it around half the height of the shortest standard mast. The mini mast can also be painted to blend in with its environment in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and unlike other mobile masts, it does not require a large technology cabinet to house the power supply and electronics.

Apparently the new mast was developed in partnership with CommScope and is being targeted to help serve specific locations, such as rural hotels, leisure and retail parks, and tourist attractions. The masts are said to be “much quicker to install, taking around six months to become fully operational” (roughly a third of the time it takes to install a standard mast).

Scott Petty, Vodafone UK’s CTO, 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.”