Scoop News  
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1211/S00902/vodafone-offers-new-mobile-coverage-to-those-without.htm


Vodafone offers new mobile coverage to those without

Media Release
22 November 2012


Vodafone offers new mobile coverage to those without


Vodafone is again reaching out to small rural communities, in the two percent of New Zealand’s population who are not covered by Vodafone’s network, and want improved mobile coverage in their local area.

First announced in 2011, the Community Cell Site Request Scheme allows small rural communities without mobile service, and outside the scope of the Rural Broadband Initiative, to apply for improved mobile coverage in their area.

Vodafone’s head of community and government relations Roger Ellis encourages small communities to apply for the initiative.

“These communities see the benefit in having Vodafone’s reliable mobile coverage in their area for both local economic development and communications purposes,” says Ellis.

“Vodafone and the community work together on the project. Essentially Vodafone provides the expertise, technical equipment and manages construction of the facility, while the community provides the land, and is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the access track and site location.”

Last year’s successful applicants were from Waihau Bay, East Cape and both the North and South Catlins. Work on these sites is currently underway.

Communities are invited to apply from 21 November until 23 December, and following a consultation and liaison process, one site will be built in 2013/14.

Communities with no existing mobile coverage who wish to benefit from this initiative must be able to meet specific criteria and collaborate with Vodafone on the project. The criteria includes a willing landowner, available power supply, support from local Iwi and 4WD access to the site.

“We hope the new initiative will enable smaller communities, who often miss out, to have the accessibility and freedom of cell phone coverage that other New Zealanders enjoy,” says Roger Ellis.

Decisions will be based on Vodafone’s assessment of the sites, positive impact on the local community, and the community’s ability to meet the required criteria. All applications will considered by Vodafone’s community cell site project team.

For more information on the initiative and details of how to apply, visit
http://www.vodafone.co.nz/smart-network/community-cell-site/


ENDS