5G rollout accelerated in Scotland through scheme to identify mast locations

The rollout of 5G in Scotland is to be accelerated with a new scheme to identify public buildings where masts can be installed, the Scottish Government has said.

A 5G mast on Lanark Road in Edinburgh.

The programme will help identify sites on public buildings and streets for masts and antennae, and reduce barriers to installing them.

Ministers said this will increase 4G and 5G mobile connectivity.

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5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 201.

It is the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current cellphones

A total of 124 mobile masts are due to be installed in an effort to improve coverage in rural areas of Scotland

The scheme, part of the Infralink programme, is led by the Scottish Futures Trust and is funded by the Scotland 5G Centre.

Scottish Government connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse welcomed the "game-changing" move.

"The changes in the way we use digital technology to stay connected over the past 12 months have shown how vital reliable digital connectivity is in all of our lives," he said.

"Continued investment in mobile infrastructure, and the tools to remove barriers and make collaboration straightforward for all parties involved, is essential to Scotland's social and economic recovery from the pandemic."

Hamish MacLeod, director of Mobile UK, which represents the UK's mobile operators, said Infralink is a "welcome and innovative programme".

Sarah Eynon, Infralink programme lead at Scottish Futures Trust, said the scheme "offers a win-win situation for both the public sector and operators, but Scottish citizens and businesses will reap the ultimate rewards"

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