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Community / New mobile masts to boost 4G coverage

Despite recent improvements to the 4G network there are still many areas in Shetland where there is no service. Photo: Shetland News

NEARLY 125 new mobile phone masts will be installed in rural areas across Scotland – including Shetland – to improve 4G coverage.

The work will be undertaken as part of the £1bn Shared Rural Network programme, which sees O2, Three and Vodafone come together to increase coverage.

Construction of the new masts will commence in 2021, and it is scheduled to be completed by 2024.

The three mobile operators will now engage with local stakeholders and other 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 Shared Rural Network programme is UK-wide and it was agreed by the mobile network operators, the government and regulator Ofcom in March last year.

Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery said: “We know connectivity is vital and the only way to fill the holes in the UK’s mobile coverage is to work together. Our unique collaboration with O2 and Three will deliver new sites in parts of Scotland that need better connectivity.”