Plan to improve mobile coverage in Scotland agreed – BBC News

Plan to improve mobile coverage in Scotland agreed - BBC News  Image copyright Digital Vision
Image caption Many rural areas of Scotland have little or no mobile coverage

A plan to increase and improve mobile coverage in Scotland has been agreed with mobile operators, the Scottish government has said.

The plan will attempt to increase commercial investment in 4G mobile in Scotland.

It also aims to ultimately support 5G-ready infrastructure across the country.

Many rural areas of Scotland have complained about having poor or no mobile coverage.

A report published two years ago concluded that Scotland had the worst mobile coverage in the UK on average, with more than a quarter of the country lacking adequate coverage.

Primary responsibility over mobile coverage lies with the UK government.

But the Scottish government said it had used its own powers to “take forward a series of actions, with tangible steps alongside public sector partners to support its ambition”.

‘Maximising coverage’

These will range from interventions such as business rates relief for operators through to more direct interventions, such as investing in the construction of new or enhanced infrastructure.

Connectivity Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “We have been working closely with the UK mobile network operators, and they have demonstrated a clear commitment to maximising coverage.

“Already significant progress is being made towards meeting 4G coverage obligations, but we collectively recognise that coverage gaps will still remain in some of the most rural and remote areas.

“We will identify where those gaps will be after the commercial rollout, and together with the industry will jointly design technology solutions and business models that will allow services to be delivered by operators in a sustainable way.”

The proposals were welcomed by the major mobile operators, who said it would help overcome some of the challenges of extending networks into the most remote rural areas.

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