Posted: Fri 3rd May 2024

Rural Wales set for digital upgrade as Vodafone announces 5G plans

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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Vodafone has committed to a major expansion of its 5G Standalone (SA) technology across rural Wales, as part of its proposed merger with Three UK.

This initiative comes in response to findings that 50% of premises in Wales’ rural constituencies currently lack 5G coverage.

Currently available in urban centers like Cardiff, Newport, and Swansea, 5G and 5G SA technologies by Vodafone are set to transform rural Welsh communities by providing critical infrastructure for advancements in healthcare, agriculture, and education.

Healthcare Improvements: Vodafone plans to deploy drones using 5G SA for emergency responses in remote areas and aims to equip every hospital in Wales with 5G by 2030. This integration is expected to facilitate the ‘hospital of the future’ model, potentially saving the NHS up to £1 billion annually—equivalent to the cost of 15,400 full-time nursing positions. Additionally, local councils could see a reduction in social care costs by up to 5%.

Agricultural Advancements: Farmers in Wales will benefit from innovations like soil sensors and 5G-connected weather stations, which could decrease chemical use by 30% and water consumption by a similar margin, enhancing productivity and environmental sustainability.

Educational Opportunities: 5G technology will also enable the expansion of virtual classroom applications, allowing students in remote areas to access specialist education resources and instruction, bridging the educational gap between rural and urban areas.

Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK, said: “We know that access to connectivity is important for everyone, but this research reveals the extent to which rural Wales is experiencing digital exclusion, showing exactly why we need to accelerate the roll out of 5G infrastructure. Through our proposed merger with Three UK, we would be able to help close the rural digital divide in Wales, helping these communities to take advantage of 5G and enjoy the same benefits it brings to their urban neighbours.”

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