Government programme boosts 4G coverage in rural Wales


Several rural communities in Wales are now accessing fast and reliable 4G mobile coverage thanks to the UK government’s Shared Rural Network initiative to tackle poor connectivity in remote areas.

The first of 86 planned 4G mobile masts have been switched on this month in places like Pont-rhyd-y-groes, Ysbyty Ystwyth, LLanafan, Tynygraig, West Fedw and Trawsgoed in Powys County. Residents, businesses and tourists in these areas can now benefit from improved 4G coverage from all four major UK mobile operators: EE, VMO2, Three, and Vodafone.

The £1 billion Shared Rural Network programme, led by the government and telecoms firms, aims to close the digital divide in the countryside by boosting mobile connectivity to spur economic growth. Rather than building entirely new infrastructure, existing phone masts are being upgraded to provide 4G coverage.

“Bad mobile signal can cause immense frustration and hold back rural businesses,” said Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez. “I’ve made it my priority to ensure no one is left behind due to lack of reliable signal.”

Two more 4G masts will go live soon in Esgair Maen and Bronfelin, with a total of 86 sites planned across Wales over the coming months to reduce coverage blackspots.

Ben Roome, CEO of Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited overseeing the project, said: “People visiting and living in rural Wales will see better 4G service as more shared mobile sites go live.”

The rollout marks progress towards the £1 billion deal’s goal of achieving 95 percent combined 4G geographic coverage across the whole UK by the end of 2025. The government is investing over £180 million to allow all mobile operators to utilise the upgraded infrastructure.

“I’m delighted to see the end of mobile blackspots in rural Powys,” said Welsh Secretary David TC Davies, praising the investment helping Welsh residents and businesses access fast internet.

(Photo by Ambitious Studio* – Rick Barrett)

See also: Virgin Media O2 trials new approach to boosting mobile coverage

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