News | 27 Jan 2021

New Vodafone deal with Three and O2 set to extend 4G rural coverage

Vodafone customers in rural communities across the UK are set to receive stronger 4G coverage following a co-operation agreement with O2 and Three in the next stage of the £1bn Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative.

The latest phase will see Vodafone working alongside mobile network operators O2 and Three to build 222 new mast sites across the UK that will boost 4G coverage in rural areas where some, but not all, network operators currently offer coverage.

The roll-out will deliver approximately 124 new sites in Scotland, 33 in Wales, 11 in Northern Ireland, and 54 in England. Exact locations will be announced later in 2021. Construction of all 222 masts is scheduled to be completed by 2024.

The new investment will extend the proportion of UK landmass where all mobile networks provide 4G services from 64% to 84%.

About the Shared Rural Network

The SRN is a £1bn joint initiative between Government and the UK’s four mobile network operators to extend overall 4G coverage to 95% of the UK landmass by the end of 2025. This will build on the multi-billion pound investment Vodafone has already made to bring 4G coverage to 99% of UK premises.

Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone UK, first announced the Shared Rural Network agreement in October 2019

The wider initiative also aims to build new, shared masts to connect areas that currently have no coverage at all.

Vodafone connected its first SRN site in June 2020 in Devauden, Wye Valley. This was followed by a second site near Longnor in the Peak District a month later.

Nick Jeffrey, CEO, Vodafone UK, said: “We know connectivity is vital and the only way to fill the holes in the UK’s mobile coverage is to work together.

“Our unique collaboration with O2 and Three will deliver 222 new sites in parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that need better connectivity.

“Delivering the Shared Rural Network will make a huge difference to communities across the UK.”

Click here for the full press release.

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