The Scottish 4G Infill Programme will seek to improve 4G reception in 60-70 sites across rural Scotland, particularly in the rural Highland and Island regions
Scotland is to spend £25 million to help boost 4G coverage across the country. 16 4G notspots have been provisionally identified and new masts will be installed to improve connectivity and establish 4G network coverage in previously uncovered areas.
“Widespread high-speed and reliable mobile coverage is just as vital as broadband, and ensures that people, communities, and businesses are able to stay connected," said connectivity secretary, Fergus Ewing.
“Improving mobile coverage across Scotland is key to achieving our ambition to become fully digitally connected. Our innovative Mobile Action Plan outlines how we are working with industry and other partners to improve coverage. The Infill programme will target the areas where it can make the most difference, achieving better and cost-effective connectivity in some of our most remote and challenging areas,” he added.
The Scottish 4G Infill Programme was developed by The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) on behalf of the UK government after an extensive period of consultation.
“Over the last 3 years, SFT has been working closely with Industry to create a collaborative platform for the development of a publicly funded intervention to extend 4G coverage into the more remote rural areas of Scotland. This has enabled SFT to take into consideration their feedback, build on the experience gained from our pilot projects and incorporate the lessons learnt from similar programmes," said Scottish Futures Trust chief executive, Peter Reekie.
“After the successful bidder has been selected, SFT looks forward to working with them and the mobile network operators to identify as many 4G notspots that can be addressed within the programme’s budget. The deployment of future proofed mast infrastructure will then act as the catalyst to deliver good quality 4G coverage to those areas for the benefit of the local communities, businesses and tourists.”
The Scottish Government will be represented at this year’s Connected Britain event. Held from the 19-20 June, the event will look at the challenges and opportunities facing providers of broadband to Britain’s rural and hard to reach communities. Click here for a full agenda.