O2 to boost indoor 4G connections

Mobile service provider O2 UK has vowed to boost indoor 4G network connections, and to increase the percentage to 94.6 per cent throughout Scotland.

In the next 12 months, the telecommunications company is looking to connect as many as 72 more Scottish areas in order to lift the figures to the near-95 per cent mark.

Last year O2 announced that it built “high-speed” 4G mobile networks to cover 366 new communities, now bringing the total to 2,387 towns, cities, hamlets and villages throughout Scotland. As a result of this success, O2 said they were driven to improve coverage in rural, poorly connected areas.

It is anticipated that the Isle of Unst, which is geographically closer to Norway than it is to Edinburgh, will be one of the first locations to benefit from the 4G upgrade in 2019. Following this, the Hebridean island with 220 residents, the Isle of Coll, can expect the rollout.

Scottish Connectivity Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “O2 has shown innovation and commitment to bring improved mobile coverage across Scotland and we welcome that.

“It is vital for Scottish business and consumers in all parts of the country that they and other mobile operators do so.”

Due to Scotland’s varied terrain and unpredictable weather conditions, the deployment of this initiative has meant that O2 has had to diversify its methods, now using helicopters and off-road vehicles to build the networks.

Despite these minor setbacks, COO at O2, Derek McManus, commented: “We are committed to helping build a fully mobile Britain. The need for 4G connectivity is an integral part of modern daily life. We know mobile has the power to make a real, positive difference to people’s lives and businesses in rural communities across Scotland.”

A report from Development Economics revealed that an upgrade to Scotland’s 4G network could support an “overall boost to its economy of up to £20 million per annum”.

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