The first Shared Rural Network site has gone live as Vodafone brings coverage to Devauden, a small rural Welsh village. It marks the first site of many under the £1bn Shared Rural Network programme.
All four networks are involved in a joint Government initiative, using mast sharing to bring mobile coverage to a wider area for all mobile users in the UK.
The programme seeks to make 4G available to 95% of the UK landmass, with sites shared so customers on all networks can benefit.
Some existing sites will get additional networking equipment, while in other areas there will be entirely new sites erected.
“Everyone should have mobile coverage, and everyone should have the benefit of a choice of networks. It is great that the industry has come together to improve coverage across the UK, and I’m proud that we’re leading the way. Our engineering team has done a great job in getting our coverage on to this site, despite the limitations of lockdown.”Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK Chief Executive Officer.
“Residents and businesses in Devauden will soon be getting better mobile coverage as it becomes the first village to benefit from our £1 billion deal with mobile phone companies to banish rural ‘not spots’ for good. Our world-leading Shared Rural Network will bring high-quality 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the UK by 2025 and means people will benefit from a good signal wherever they live, work or travel.”Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure Minister.
The use of shared equipment makes rural coverage more cost-effective and less disruptive, allowing coverage in the harder to reach parts of the country such as mountains, valleys, waterways and woodlands.
“The ability to be connected wherever you are is becoming increasingly important, no more so than under the current circumstances. To have the first site sharing deal in the UK under the Shared Rural Network initiative in rural Wales is fantastic. People living in and around Devauden will now have greater choice about which provider they choose and it will help support local businesses.”Lee Waters MS, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport.