The UK government and Britain’s four largest mobile phone companies have agreed a £1 billion deal to improve mobile reception coverage in some of the UK’s most rural areas, a deal that is hoped will drastically improve Shetland’s mobile coverage.
The deal, supported by EE, O2, Vodafone and Three, promises to provide 4G reception to at least 95 per cent of the UK by 2025.
MP Alistair Carmichael and list MSP Jamie Haclro Johnston were united in their praise of the deal, with Mr Carmichael saying it will make a “huge difference” to communities in both Orkney and Shetland.
He added that Shetlanders have “waited long enough” for these improvements, and will ensure that the government follows through on their promise.
“I am pleased that they have finally recognised the need to invest in a rural 4G network.”
Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston called his party’s deal with the phone networks “great news” for people in Shetland.
“For too many local people still have to endure the frustration of living and working in rural “not-spots”, and this announcement will give them some hope that an end is in sight and the problem is being addressed.
“A fit-for-purpose communications infrastructure is vital for sustaining our rural and remote communities, and this move is a boost for everyone who wants to see them flourish”.
The new deal will see the four mobile networks invest a total of £530 million and means that they will now share masts to improve mobile coverage.
The government will provide £500 million towards the deal.