Industry Updates

'SAMENA Daily' - News

O2 UK extends 4G mobile coverage in Stirling via SRN

Mobile operator O2 (VMO2) has just deployed the first of 7 new masts in rural parts of Stirling (Scotland) to help boost local 4G (mobile broadband) coverage under the £1bn industry-led Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme. The first site, in the remote village of Killin, required a helicopter to deliver the new mast to its site.

The SRN – supported by £501m of public funding and £532m from operators – involves both the reciprocal sharing of existing masts in certain areas and the demand-led building and sharing of new masts in others between the operators (MNO): O2, Vodafone, EE and Three UK. The target is to extend geographic 4G coverage (aggregate) to 95% of the UK by the end of 2025, which falls to 84% when only considering the areas where you’ll be able to take 4G from all providers.

Currently, some 29% of the Stirling council area is said to lack 4G coverage from all four network operators’ with signal blackspots creating an issue for local people and visitors. The investment to solve this forms part of the SRN’s work to tackle Partial Not-Spots (PNS), which is funded by mobile operators, while the government’s side of public investment is more intended for new masts to eliminate Total Not-Spots (TNS)).

Jeanie York, CTO of Virgin Media O2, said:

“At Virgin Media O2, we are committed to playing our part in bringing reliable 4G coverage to communities all over Britain to help bridge the urban-rural digital divide. We’re going to extraordinary lengths to connect the most remote and isolated locations, including using helicopters to fly in phone masts where we need to, as part of our unwavering focus on delivering the Shared Rural Network programme.

Many rural parts of Scotland are already benefiting from our rollout of new and upgraded masts, and we are delighted to bring enhanced mobile connectivity to the beautiful area of Stirling. Our Shared Rural Network rollout continues at pace, with more locations set to benefit in the near future.”

Alyn Smith, the MP for Stirling, said:

“I am delighted to see further Virgin Media O2 investment in the area of Stirling that will help ensure that my constituents have access to reliable mobile connectivity. As with many rural areas, Stirling has previously been at a disadvantage when it comes to connectivity.”