Live updates

Vodafone to roll out mobile internet to rural areas

Plans to bring mobile internet to remote areas of the UK for the first time have been announced by telecoms giant Vodafone. Plans to bring mobile internet to remote areas of the UK for the first time have been announced by telecoms giant Vodafone.

 Vodafone
Vodafone to roll out mobile internet to rural areas Credit: PA

According to an Ofcom report, more than half the UK population use a mobile phone to access the internet, but pockets of the country still struggle with 3G or better coverage which is associated with good mobile internet access.

Jeroen Hoencamp, chief executive officer of Vodafone UK, said:

This is an opportunity for people to make a real difference to their community and to be part of our commitment to close the digital divide between rural and urban areas.

Bringing mobile coverage and mobile internet to rural areas gives communities a real boost - both economically and socially.

– Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone UK

Governments phone tapping citizens 'terrifying'

Human rights campaign group Liberty has described the findings of Vodafone's report into the extent of government phone-tapping as "terrifying".

Vodafone said some 29 countries in Europe and beyond use a "secret wires" system to monitor phone conversations and track users through their mobile phones.

Vodafone outlined the details in a report on the widespread use of secret surveillance by government agencies.
Vodafone outlined the details in a report on the widespread use of secret surveillance by government agencies. Credit: PA

Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights campaign group Liberty, said: "For governments to access phone calls at the flick of a switch is unprecedented and terrifying.

More: Vodafone: Govts use network to listen to calls

In Albania, Egypt, Hungary, India, Malta, Qatar, Romania, South Africa and Turkey it is unlawful to disclose any information related to wiretapping or interception of the content of phone calls and messages, Vodafone said.

In six of the countries in which Vodafone operates, phone-tapping is actually a legal requirement. The phone company said it will not name the countries involved because "certain regimes could retaliate by imprisoning its staff," The Guardian reported.

Advertisement

Vodafone calls for warrants rule on phone tapping

Vodafone is calling for government agencies to have to gain warrants to carry out any surveillance, as it released a report that phone tapping is used by governments to snoop on their citizens.

Stephen Deadman, Vodafone's group privacy officer, told The Guardian:

We are making a call to end direct access as a means of government agencies obtaining people's communication data.

Without an official warrant, there is no external visibility. If we receive a demand we can push back against the agency.

The fact that a government has to issue a piece of paper is an important constraint on how powers are used.

...We need to debate how we are balancing the needs of law enforcement with the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens.

He said the use of direct-access pipes in the UK would be illegal because agencies have to obtain a warrant to get information.

More: Governments 'use secret wires to tap people's calls'

Governments 'use secret wires to tap people's calls'

Governments around the world use secret wires that allow them to listen to people's mobile phone calls, phone giant Vodafone has revealed.

Vodafone has revealed that governments around the world use secret wires to listen to all conversations conducted on its networks.
Vodafone has revealed that governments around the world use secret wires to listen to all conversations conducted on its networks. Credit: PA

The wires are used in countries in Europe and beyond, the company said in a report on the widespread use of secret surveillance by government agencies.

Vodafone said direct-access wires or pipes are connected directly to its network to allow conversations to be listened to or recorded, according to The Guardian.

The system also captures metadata, including the location of a device, the times and dates of communications and which number was called.

Advertisement

Vodafone to create 1,400 new jobs with new stores

The 150 shops will open over the next 12 months, increasing the total number of Vodafone's branded UK outlets to more than 500.
The 150 shops will open over the next 12 months, increasing the total number of Vodafone's branded UK outlets to more than 500. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Vodafone has unveiled plans to open 150 new shops creating 1,400 new retail roles over the next 12 months.

The new shops will open over the next 12 months, increasing the total number of Vodafone's branded UK outlets to more than 500.

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories