New 4G mobile coverage for Scotland’s most remote areas

HMP Edinburgh topped the table for most illegal phones found
HMP Edinburgh topped the table for most illegal phones found
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Parts of Scotland are getting 4G mobile phone network coverage for the first time as new masts are erected in some the country’s most remote places.

Areas in the Highlands, on the Isle of Arran and in the Shetland islands will now have access to fourth-generation cellular services, the equivalent of fibre broadband on mobile devices.

The extended coverage comes as a result of ongoing work by mobile operator EE, which has built masts at 90 new sites in Scotland in the last 12 months.

The communications firm says the move will provide residents and visitors with better-quality calls and reliable mobile data.

The most recent new sites cover Carsphairn in Dumfries and Galloway, Loch Tarff and Gorthleck in the Highlands, Tarland and Ballogie in Aberdeenshire, Lamlash on the Isle of Arran and Sandwick in the Shetland Isles.

Key roads across Scotland are also receive improved coverage, including sections of the A75, A9, A82 and A86.

EE is also developing a new network that will connect 300,000 emergency workers with 4G voice and data services across the UK.

“Too much of Scotland has been left behind when it comes to mobile technologies,” said Simon Frumkin, managing director of Emergency Services Network at EE.

“We’re investing across the country to put that right.

“We’ve already built 90 sites that are providing coverage for the first time, and there are more than 200 to go – this is going to revolutionise access to the digital economy across Scotland and it will provide 4G coverage for the Emergency Services Network.”

Mobile network providers have insisted rapid improvements are being made to coverage in Scotland.

Representatives from Three UK, Vodafone, EE and O2 were giving evidence to Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee as it continues its investigation into digital connectivity.

Ofcom’s Connected Nations Report found mobile voice services from all four operators now cover 87 per cent of premises in Scotland.

However it concluded that too many people still struggle to get a sufficiently strong signal– particularly in rural areas and on roads and railways.

Meanwhile, 4G coverage, where reception is available from all four operators, is only available across 17 per cent of the landmass. For calls and text messaging, 38 per cent of places do not receive a signal.