Rural areas in UK to enjoy mobile connectivity boost

People in rural Scotland, Wales and the North East of England will see huge improvements in mobile coverage thanks to a £1bn mobile connectivity programme.

The Shared Rural Network (SRN) was agreed between the government and the country’s biggest mobile network operators, and will see firms sharing their masts to boost mobile signals in rural areas.

Increases in 4G coverage will allow people living in rural parts of the UK to benefit from technology and stay connected, as well as power economic growth, helping people set up and run businesses from anywhere in the UK.

Digital secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: ‘We’re putting connecting people across the UK at the heart of our plan to build back better, through huge uplifts to mobile coverage in rural areas and the rapid rollout of gigabit broadband.

‘Today’s announcements will improve the lives of millions of people in rural parts of Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland, giving them the connections they need to work, access services and keep in touch – both at home and on the go.’

white and brown house on green grass field under blue and white cloudy sky during daytime

New figures revealing how much mobile coverage will increase in each region suggest the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Mid and West Wales and the North East of England will see the largest increases in 4G signal, with network coverage in Scotland set to increase by two thirds.

The SRN is being delivered by EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, increasing the total geographic 4G coverage of the UK to 95% by the end of 2025.

The mobile network operators involved have begun work to close the majority of partial not spots by mid-2024, and work has kicked off to end total not spots – areas with no coverage by any mobile operator – by searching for, acquiring and building publicly funded masts to be shared between all four operators.

Hamish MacLeod, director at Mobile UK, said: ‘Mobile operators have already started to deliver on this commitment, with new sites coming online in partial coverage areas. We are committed to providing a reliable 4G mobile signal to 95% of the UK’s landmass and improving the experience for people living, working and travelling in rural areas.’

In related news, Sam Orton, transformation accounts, business development manager at Yotta explores how public sector organisations are adapting their customer experience to suit the needs of the public – delivering a new generation of digital engagement.

Photo by Gary Ellis


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