East Suffolk coast finally coming in from the cold as 4G heads to Aldeburgh

Rob Matthews of Vodafone. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Rob Matthews of Vodafone. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

One of the most notorious mobile phone notspots in East Anglia should have better connections with the 21st century within the next few weeks.

Vodafone says you should soon get its 4G network on Aldeburgh seafront. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Vodafone says you should soon get its 4G network on Aldeburgh seafront. Picture: THINKSTOCK - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Engineers are currently commissioning a new 4G transmitter for Aldeburgh which should give good coverage for the town for users of both O2 and Vodafone networks.

And Vodafone officials have stressed that they are working to try to close “notspots” across the region – by trying to find sites for new transmitters and working more closely with O2 owner Telefonica.

Dr Rob Matthews from Vodafone said the company’s agreement with Telefonica to share phone masts was still being worked through – and should be completed across the country within 12 to 18 months. That should improve coverage everywhere.

But east Suffolk’s specific problems should be eased before then: “We have a new transmitter in Aldeburgh which is just being tested now. It should be live within a very few weeks so the coverage there will be much better.”

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Dr Matthews said Vodafone was anxious to improve services for its customers and was investing heavily in bringing new transmitters online.

But in some places resistance to proposed new transmitters remained a problem: “We have faced situations where landowners have not wanted to allow a transmitter to be sited – or there have been planning objections that have been supported by local authorities.

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“We try to work around these, but sometimes we reach the point we have to just walk away and look for other solutions.”

Aldeburgh Business Association chair Sally Ogden was delighted to hear the news about the improvements planned by Vodafone.

She said: “That is fantastic news. You won’t have people having to stand on the sea wall and holding their phone into the air to try to get the faintest signal!

“Some of the other networks have better signals, but if you are visiting Aldeburgh and are on Vodafone it is very annoying and our members have been worried about this for some time.”

Vodafone has also set up regional offices to try to be more responsive. Phil Roberson from the East and East Midland said the company had 1,000 employees in the region and it was important to bring them together.

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