Vodafone UK has achieved an industry first with the successful trial of a new 4G mini mobile mast in the small village of Porthcurno on the southern Cornish coast.

The mini mast is now providing customers with 4G mobile data speeds of more than 200Mbps, as well as a strong voice signal, for the first time across this historic part of the country, including Porthcurno beach.

The telescopic mini mast is only eight metres high when extended to its tallest point and is around half the height of the shortest standard mast. It can be painted to blend in with its environment in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and unlike other mobile masts, it does not require a large technology cabinet to house the power supply and electronics.

Developed in partnership with infrastructure technology company, CommScope, the mini mast can be placed at rural hotels, leisure and retail parks, and tourist attractions. They are also much quicker to install, taking around six months to become fully operational –  approximately a third of the time it takes to install a standard mast.

Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty said: “We’re working hard to connect customers across the UK and our new mini mast will help provide 4G in places where other networks struggle to reach, while minimising the visual and environmental impact. It forms part of our major investment in our network and services to provide our customers reliable coverage where they live, work and travel.”

Derek Thomas, MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives), added: “The quality of mobile phone signal in West Cornwall is a subject that is regularly raised with me, as is the need to protect and preserve our countryside. This new mast offers the opportunity to reduce the visual impact of phone masts, whilst addressing people’s desire for improved connectivity. I’m pleased that the Vodafone mini mast is now in place and welcome any additional innovations that enable us to stay connected.”