New, Extended Areas Services masts are to be installed across Montgomeryshire with the aim of seeing 4G coverage boosted to 95 per cent across Wales.
Craig Williams, MP for Montgomeryshire, has received an update from the Home Office on the progress of installing the masts to eliminate the majority of mobile signal ‘not-spots’ within the constituency.
The infrastructure is part of the world-first Shared Rural Network programme between the UK Government and the UK’s four mobile network operators. The programme will also allow rural residents to access competing mobile contracts, with coverage boosted for all major network providers.
The Home Office have confirmed that planning approval has now been completed for sites at: Y Fan; Old Hall; Hafren Forest; Manafon; Rhiwargor; Llangynog; Lake Vyrnwy; Llanwddyn; Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant; Maengwynedd; Llanfyllin; Staylittle; Tregynon and Bettws Cedewain. Two further masts will also be built on sites at Aberhosan and Hirnant, with all mast sites set to be activated by the end of 2024 at the latest.
Once mast builds are completed and powered, they will be transferred to EE for connection to the core network and activated for the Emergency Services Network. There will then be the opportunity to provide commercial services via the masts through the SRN programme.
Mr Williams said: “I am delighted by the news that excellent progress is being made with installing new mobile masts across the breadth of Montgomeryshire. With the majority of new sites having now gained planning approval and legal access – as well as some site builds having already been completed – today represents a major step forward in eradicating mobile not-spots across our area once and for all.
“The Shared Rural Network programme is further proof of the UK Government’s commitment to levelling up the digital playing field across Wales, particularly within rural and isolated areas. By 2024, many more of us within Montgomeryshire will have sweeping access to a fast and reliable 4G connection wherever we are.
“The hard work doesn’t stop here, and I will remain in continual dialogue with both the Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media & Sport to ensure Montgomeryshire’s SRN rollout continues at pace.”