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Arqiva Map Confirms First UK Areas to Benefit from £150m Mobile Upgrade

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 (7:47 pm) - Score 3,518

Arqiva has revealed a map of the first areas to benefit from the government’s £150m Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which was established as part of the 4G auction (800MHz and 2.6GHz) process to help build new mobile masts for those who live in areas of poor or non-existent mobile coverage.

Overall around 60,000 premises and sections of road will benefit from the new infrastructure and this will contribute towards ensuring that Mobile Broadband (3G or 4G) services become available to “at least” 98% of UK people by the end of 2015 (the original target was 2017 but mobile operators now expect to beat that by two years).

The first sites to benefit are due to “go live” by the end of 2013 and these will include locations in Cornwall, Northumberland, Strabane, Aberdeenshire and Powys.

Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, said:

This project will see mobile phone coverage extended to many of the people who currently live and work in areas where there is none. The project will provide a significant boost to local economies across the UK, and will be instrumental in helping Britain win the global race.”

The four primary Mobile Network Operators (MNO), including EE, O2, Three UK and Vodafone, will all be providing coverage from the sites and funding their operating costs for the 20 year life of the project.

However it’s worth remembering that the MIP has been significantly scaled back from its original goal. Under the old plans the project would have worked to help “[the] 5 to 10% of consumers and businesses that live and work in areas of the UK where existing mobile coverage is poor or non-existent”; 900,000 premises currently lack full mobile coverage.

As it stands now Arqiva claims to have “begun identifying suitable sites in a phased manner” and the map below shows the local authority areas that stand to benefit from MIP investment. But unfortunately the lack of a clear timetable and precise rollout details (beyond what’s reported above) makes the map of only limited use.

mobile infrastructure project map

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Slow Somerset

    So what are the white areas ?.

    • Areas not included in the roll-out. If you look at Ofcoms mobile coverage maps you’ll see that most of the white areas already have strong coverage.

  2. Avatar Stephen

    This is fantastic news!
    BT don’t have much interest in supplying Aberdeenshire with a fibre service so it is great to see that there will soon be an alternative option (or rather, we will now have 1 option!) for rural customers to choose. I think the mobile ISP’s will do very well from this and rightly so, rural customers want the same services as city customers but until now have never had a choice, now we have a very bright light at the end of the tunnel.
    This has made my day!!!!

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