·       
Guests and owners at Verdant
Leisure’s Erigmore and Thurston Manor parks can enjoy
superior broadband connectivity, with Pease Bay and additional parks
benefitting soon

·       
The 4G mobile private network uses
Vodafone’s spectrum, which it previously agreed to share with Freshwave, in a
first for a Scottish holiday park operator

Verdant Leisure guests and owners staying at Erigmore or
Thurston Manor Leisure parks can now enjoy improved wireless connectivity on a 4G
mobile private network. Leading UK network service provider Freshwave, working with telecoms
reseller Online Systems, have designed,
built and now manage the 4G mobile private network using outdoor small cell
technology.

In a first for a Scottish holiday park, the private
network is sharing
Vodafone’s 4G spectrum
. Vodafone agreed to share some of its
spectrum with Freshwave in 2019 to help offer high-speed broadband in areas
without 4G connectivity, as well as to promote efficient use of its spectrum. Freshwave
was the first business in the UK to acquire a Local
Access Licence through Ofcom’s “Enabling wireless innovation through
local licensing” 
framework.
 

Bev Dixon, Chief Operating Officer at Verdant Leisure,
says: “With our parks busier than ever due to the staycation boom, it’s
great to be welcoming so many owners and guests. We’re pleased to be able to
offer those staying at Erigmore and Thurston Manor Leisure Parks this exciting
new broadband
connectivity and we’ve received great feedback on it from holidaymakers already.
People have been streaming, gaming, and working remotely, with no hitches to
their connectivity. We’re looking forward to introducing it to our other parks
in the future, with installation currently underway at our Pease Bay Leisure Park.”
 

Outdoor small cell technology brings broadband data speeds to each
lodge in the park via a network of small cells and a mini antenna on each
lodge. A SIM-based router inside then distributes the signal via Wi-Fi. The
network uses Vodafone’s 2600MHz spectrum in areas where the operator does not yet
use it for public services.

Greg Morton, Managing Director at Online Systems, says: “With staycations
in Scotland more popular than ever, I’m pleased that we were able to work with
Freshwave on this innovative approach which will give those staying at the
parks great connectivity. Using small cells rather than outdoor Wi-Fi meant installing
less infrastructure, so it’s less disruptive to the resort while also
overcoming issues challenging environments can pose for Wi-Fi. And with very
little underground cabling needed with a network like this, you don’t run the
same risks of encountering unmapped utilities during installation. Not only do
the park’s guests and owners enjoy improved connectivity, but it also benefits
the corporate services on site, such as maintenance and housekeeping.”

Simon Frumkin, Freshwave’s CEO, says: “Staying connected is more
important than ever before and people holidaying outside city centres need to
keep in touch too, especially when there’s probably never been more of us taking
a staycation! We’re proud to pioneer the use of shared mobile spectrum to deploy
private networks, another new way of helping our customers connect their
customers.”

Andrea Donà, Chief Network Officer at Vodafone, comments:
“We’re committed to rolling out high-speed mobile to rural communities, and
sharing spectrum with Freshwave complements our efforts. We’ll continue to
endorse novel approaches that help bridge the digital divide and connect more
people and businesses.”

There are around 800 lodges and caravans at Thurston Manor, 190
at Erigmore, and 360 at Pease Bay, which between them welcome thousands of owners
and guests.

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