UK operators Vodafone, O2 and 3 unveiled plans to increase 4G coverage in rural areas by building and sharing 222 new mobile masts, as they move to meet government connectivity targets.
In a joint statement, the operators explained the three-year programme forms the initial stage of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative, with work to begin this year.
Most efforts will be put into Scotland, where the companies will build 124 new sites, followed by England (54), Wales (33) and Northern Ireland (11).
The trio said the step will “virtually eliminate” coverage gaps in areas where not every operator currently offers services.
They pledged to engage with local stakeholders and key parties to ensure “a timely and efficient rollout that unlocks the benefits of 4G for these rural communities”.
An EE representative told Mobile World Live it is not required to be involved in this stage of the SRN plan, as it has already hit targets by building more than 600 new rural sites in the past few years.
The company added it offered to share the masts with its rivals.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back