People living in New Luce, Wigtownshire, are to get 4G mobile coverage for the first time after a programme to provide the service to rural areas was launched.
24 new masts are to be placed in key areas around parts of Scotland currently unable to get coverage from any service provider, with further sites also under construction and set to be built this year (2020).
The 4G, 3G and 2G coverage from the first mast will be provided by Vodafone, with EE expected to follow suit later in 2020 and then provide much of the coverage.
Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse commented: “While telecommunications is a responsibility of UK ministers, improving mobile coverage is vital to achieving the Scottish Government’s ambition to make sure everyone in Scotland has access to high-speed, reliable coverage.
“People in New Luce are the first to benefit but we hope that, like Wigtownshire, many more remote and rural parts of Scotland and Scotland’s islands will soon enjoy improved cost-effective connectivity as a result of the Scottish Government’s work with industry and other partners, and our investment in the £25 million S4GI Programme.”
The Scottish 4G Infill (S4GI) Programme is a collaboration between the Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust, set up in 2018, to provide coverage to ‘notspots’ that do not have access.
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The programme is being delivered by WHP Telecoms and managed by the Scottish Futures Trust.
Vodafone UK Chief Executive Officer Nick Jeffery said: “More than a quarter of the UK population live in rural areas. We are investing heavily to extend the reach of our network to these communities such as those living in New Luce.
“No one should feel cut off from online services whether educational or recreational. This is why we pioneered network sharing and are keen to support this programme, as well as similar ones, in order to provide fast mobile services in remote locations while minimising the environmental impact.”