EE brings “monster” 4G connectivity to a further 1,500 rural communities as part of the Shared Rural Network

20/04/2023
BT EE Shared Rural Network
  • EE is the first mobile operator to reach the milestone of building or upgrading 1,500 remote sites across the UK as part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme.
  • Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands is the latest rural area to be upgraded with EE’s 4G connectivity.
  • EE customers have used the SRN 4G upgrades to download more than 30TB of data.

EE has expanded its mobile network to deliver fast and reliable 4G connectivity to a further 1,500 remote countryside communities across the UK, including Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.

The upgrades have been delivered as part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) ₁, a £1 billion joint initiative between mobile network operators and the UK Government to extend 4G connectivity to 95 percent of the UK’s geography by the end of 2025.

Having signed the SRN deal in March 2020, EE has now delivered more than 2,000 square miles of additional 4G connectivity to rural areas across each of the four UK nations. This equates to a size greater than nine times that of the Isle of Man.

EE’s 4G network is the biggest and fastest in the UK ₂, covering more than 99 percent of the population. This continued investment in infrastructure marks the latest expansion of its 4G coverage, reducing ‘partial not spots’ and providing customers and businesses in remote places across the country with enhanced high-speed mobile connectivity.

High-speed 4G in the Highlands

The 1,500th site upgrade strengthens EE’s 4G coverage around the iconic Loch Ness in Scotland and nearby villages along the River Moriston. These places are home to hundreds of people and famed for their thriving local tourism industries and stunning views of the Scottish Highlands.

The site represents the largest single SRN upgrade EE has delivered to date, with the enhanced connectivity supporting local people and businesses, as well as those working and visiting the area, including the hundreds of thousands of tourists who head to Loch Ness every year in search of its famous monster, “Nessie”.

Countryside connectivity

EE customers in rural areas have already used the SRN 4G upgrades to download more than 30TB of data, with villages including Tumble in Carmarthenshire, Wales, and Mount in Warleggan, Cornwall proving to be some of the most data-hungry places. The upgrades are also empowering customers to reliably stay connected to friends, family, and local businesses using voice calls, with Alvechurch in Worcestershire and Glynneath in South Wales generating some of the highest levels of 4G voice traffic across EE’s SRN locations.

UK Government Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Julia Lopez, said: “The improved connectivity being delivered by the Shared Rural Network is transforming countryside communities, boosting productivity and giving people reliable and fast mobile connectivity wherever they live. It is fantastic to see EE reach such a significant milestone. We look forward to continuing to work together with our industry partners to give rural areas the infrastructure they need in the digital age.”

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive of BT Group, commented: “Today marks a major achievement for the Shared Rural Network, with EE becoming the first operator to bring 4G to a further 1,500 remote locations across the UK. From farming and fishing to hospitality and tourism, Britain’s countryside communities are vital to the success of the wider economy and BT Group’s huge investment into our mobile network infrastructure is delivering the connectivity boost local people and businesses need.”

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