Mobile masts to boost 4G rural coverage

O2, Three and Vodafone will partner to build and share 222 new mobile masts to boost rural coverage across the United Kingdom and deliver the first stage of the Shared Rural Network (SRN).

This programme of investment will increase coverage in each of the UK nations, with 11 new sites in Northern Ireland.

The construction of the new masts will commence in 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by 2024 in line with the agreement reached with the UK Government and Ofcom.

The construction of the new masts will commence in 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by 2024 in line with the agreement reached with the UK Government and Ofcom.

The three mobile operators will now engage with local stakeholders and other key parties to ensure a timely and efficient roll out that unlocks the benefits of 4G for these rural communities offering customers in very remote areas increased choice and fuller value from their contracts where they live, work or travel.

The exact number and location of masts will be subject to finding suitable sites, obtaining power supply and backhaul and securing the necessary permissions through the planning system.

The new investment as part of the programme, will extend the proportion of UK landmass where all mobile networks provide 4G services from 67% to 84%, and virtually eliminate Partial Not Spots (PNSs) – areas where at least one, but not all four of the UK’s mobile networks provide 4G coverage.

In Northern Ireland the SRN will see 4G coverage rise to at least 85% of landmass from 75%.