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O2, Three and Vodafone agree new deal to improve UK's rural coverage

Publications including Mobile Europe and Computer Weekly report that three mobile network operators have unveiled plans to build more than 200 new mobile masts to improve 4G phone signal in rural areas

As part of the Government’s Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme announced last March, O2, Three and Vodafone will build and share the usage of 222 new masts across the UK.

Most of the masts will be built in rural areas where 4G mobile phone coverage is either very poor or non-existent. In total, 124 masts will be built in Scotland, 33 in Wales, 11 in Northern Ireland and 54 in England – the three telecoms companies will build 74 of the new sites each.

The exact locations of the 222 masts are not being disclosed until planning permission is approved.

Construction of the masts will start this year and is set to finish by 2024, in line with the agreement reached with the Government and Ofcom.

This programme will deliver the first stage of the Government's SRN initiative, which will see £1 billion spent on increasing 4G mobile coverage to reach 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2025.

Full articles:

Mobile Europe - O2, Three and Vodafone agree new deal to improve UK's rural coverage

Computer Weekly - O2, Three, Vodafone team to enhance rural mobile coverage

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