The UK’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has announced that a number of areas across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from investment totalling GBP150 million (USD228 million) aimed at enhancing mobile phone coverage. The funding, it has said, will enable the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) to extend mobile access to areas currently without coverage. To that end, it has named Cornwall, Northumberland, Strabane, Aberdeenshire and Powys as being among the areas that stand to benefit most from the project, with the first sites due to go live by the end of this year.
Under the programme, the UK government is providing capital funding for Arqiva to build the new site infrastructure, while mobile network operators EE, O2 UK , Vodafone UK and Hutchison 3G UK will provide coverage from the sites and fund their individual operating costs for the 20-year life of the project. Arqiva is understood to have begun identifying suitable sites in a phased manner and a map detailing the local authority areas that stand to benefit from MIP investment has been released.