Arran to benefit from £1 billion boost to improve 4G coverage

A side by side comparison of the coverage improvements expected by the Shared Rural Network.

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Large areas of Arran are expected to see a huge improvement in 4G coverage as part of an agreement between mobile operators and a £1 billion funding deal from the UK government.

The Shared Rural Network (SRN) will see EE, O2, Three and Vodafone build and upgrade phone masts to end partial not-spots: areas where only some, but not all, mobile network operators provide 4G coverage.

The agreement will see 91 per cent of Scotland being in range of a 4G signal and 74 per cent of Scotland being covered by all four mobile operators


The west of Scotland will see an improvement, from 59 per cent coverage to 82 per cent coverage – from all mobile network operators – while the Highlands and Islands will see largest 4G boost out of all UK regions with coverage from all four operators increasing from 26 per cent to 68 per cent.

The SRN is a major part of the government’s plan to improve digital connectivity across all of the UK and will bring economic and social benefits for people regardless of where they live.

It will help those who live and work in rural communities to enjoy the benefits of improved connectivity and seize the benefits of technology, such as using a 4G phone signal for work video calls as well as shopping and streaming TV shows on the go.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: ‘From Dumfries and Galloway to the Highlands, and from Skye to Shetland, this UK Government investment will improve access to fast, reliable 4G coverage for people in every corner of Scotland.


‘The UK Government is working hard to level up digital connectivity, ensuring that people and businesses right across the country can enjoy the social and economic benefits of next-generation broadband and mobile coverage.’

The SRN, brokered by ministers in March last year, is expected to increase the total geographic 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the UK by 2025, however, increased coverage in Scotland is expected long before the programme’s completion date as rural areas in both Scotland and Wales will be receiving the greatest infrastructure developments.