January 16, 2024

SRN Update: EE Completes First Stage Of Shared Rural Network

People living, working, and visiting rural communities across the UK are benefiting from enhanced mobile connectivity after EE completed its widespread 4G coverage upgrades under the first phase of the Shared Rural Network (SRN).

Careful planning and prioritised investment have meant EE has expanded its 4G network to over 1,600 more countryside communities across every region of the UK, exceeding its SRN targets.

The second phase of the SRN, publicly funded by the UK Government, is due to be completed in 2027 and will develop new-shared masts to bring 4G connectivity to areas with no existing mobile service.

Following its SRN upgrades, EE’s 4G geographic coverage in each individual nation now stands at: England (94%), Northern Ireland (89%), Scotland (77%), and Wales (86%).

Having signed up to its SRN commitments in March 2020, the extensive upgrades delivered under the programme have, in part, enabled EE to expand 4G connectivity for its customers across the UK by a further 10,000 square kilometres over the last five years. This equates to a size 26 times greater than the Isle of Wight.

Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer, commented:

“Today is another major milestone in our ongoing work to help close the UK’s digital divide. From farmers in Northern Ireland and local businesses in the Scottish Highlands, to tourists in the Lake District or Eryri National Park, EE is delivering the reliable mobile connectivity Britain’s rural communities need."

To balance the desire for enhanced mobile connectivity in remote areas with the need to respect the natural landscape, EE has taken steps to situate its sleek mobile masts in non-intrusive locations while providing maximum benefit to the places where people live, work, and travel.

These widespread 4G upgrades come at an important time for countryside communities as the UK’s mobile providers have begun retiring older 3G – and later 2G – networks. 4G connectivity offers rural communities the biggest and most reliable network of any current mobile technology in the UK.

About Building Mobile Britain

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Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

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