4G coverage upgrade for five rural areas in county

Five rural areas of the county will be getting 4G coverage as part of an expansion from a telecommunications firm.

EE, which is part of the BT group, says it is upgrading 17 sites across the West Midlands, and has listed five in Shropshire that will all see extended 4G coverage upgraded this year.

The locations include Leebotwood, Hodnet, Cleobury Mortimer, Llanyblodwel, and Moreton Corbet.

The work is being carried out as part of Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative – and means that all mobile phone users in the area benefit from the access, not just EE customers.

The SRN is a programme between the UK’s four mobile network operators and the UK Government with the aim of extending 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the UK’s geography by the middle of the decade.

It said the upgrades would significantly reduce ‘partial not-spots’ by 2024.

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said: "I'm delighted to see the great strides EE is making to boost 4G services in countryside communities as part of the Shared Rural Network agreement, which was brokered and is part funded by the government.

"We're investing half a billion pounds in this landmark deal to extend mobile coverage to 95 per cent of the UK and it will help us build back better from the pandemic."

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive of BT Group, said: “Reliable connectivity is important wherever you live, work or travel, and we’re committed to improving and adding coverage to even the most remote areas.

"The investment BT has made in rural areas to date means we already have the infrastructure in place needed to extend our 4G coverage footprint further, minimising the number of new sites we need to build.

Isolated

"There are many places where EE is the only provider with 4G coverage today, offering the other operators an opportunity to share our existing sites to plug gaps in their networks and improve mobile performance for everyone.”

EE has also announced the extension of its 4G network to cover areas with high summer demand, including all 15 of Great Britain’s National Parks, coastal locations and roads.

It said coverage in National Parks has increased by more than 200KM².

Mike McKinley, Chair of National Parks England, said: “The extension, and introduction, of 4G coverage across more rural areas is welcome news for National Park communities and visitors, and will help meet increased demand for fast, reliable connectivity.

“Digital connectivity is a vital part of modern life, and this news will also benefit the residents of National Parks, many of whom currently live in isolated areas with no access to mobile coverage.

“As we look ahead to this summer 2021, National Parks is anticipating a large influx of visitors.

"These visitors will now have access to better and more reliable mobile coverage, giving them the opportunity to use important tools such as ‘SaferLakes’ which helps visitors enjoy these special landscapes, while ensuring they are protected for future generations.”

EE said it has also extended its 4G network to cover areas with high summer demand, including roads such as the M50, A49, A53 and A480.

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