A GOVERNMENT-backed initiative to improve mobile phone signals in rural areas is calling for villages to apply for the installation of innovative technology.

Called Rural Open Sure Signal and launched by mobile service provider Vodafone, trials of the new technology have been run in other rural areas of the UK, including Cranborne in Dorset.

Vodafone is now asking communities to team up with their local MP and apply for the technology, which is the size of a domestic broadband box, and uses the internet to provide the mobile technology and can be installed anywhere in a village.

Initial trials, including the one in Cranborne, led to widespread approval by the communities.

David Blake, project development officer at Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB and Village Champion said: “It lifted the blight of being a not-spot for mobile phone reception from our village and it shows what can be done when small businesses, large companies and public organisations work together for the common good.”

Up to 100 communities will be selected for the installation, with the deadline for entries in October.

For further information or to take part visit vodafone.co.uk/ rural