British mobile network operator (MNO) O2 UK plans to switch on 4G mobile coverage, as well as 2G and 3G connectivity, in more than 800 new locations across Scotland tis year. To meet the growing demand for data ‘in every corner of the country’, the cellco said it has deployed fleets of helicopters and off-road vehicles to install the new technology and digital infrastructure needed to bring 4G to more Scottish customers. Locations including Inverness, Aberdeen and even the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, were named as being among the places to benefit from what O2 called ‘the latest innovations in mobile signal-improving technology’.
As an example, O2 revealed that a new mast has already been constructed in Fort William, the gateway to Ben Nevis, bringing 4G to local customers, while before the end of the year engineers will have installed a second mast higher up the mountain, so climbers can stay connected. The cellco also noted that it has installed 85 new generators in some of the most isolated and hard to reach locations across the country, in order to make sure customers’ mobile connectivity is not affected by power cuts, often caused by adverse weather conditions.
With these improvements to 4G connectivity being delivered as O2 continues to collaborate with Scottish authorities, Derek McManus, the MNO’s chief operating officer, said: ‘At O2 we are constantly challenging ourselves to develop and deploy new technology to deliver better connectivity for our customers across Scotland regardless of landscape or weather conditions.’
Work in the region represents part of O2’s ongoing commitment to providing 4G mobile connectivity across the UK, and the cellco claims that it is investing more than GBP2 million (USD2.65 million) every day to deliver ‘the best-connected experience for its customers’, rolling out LTE-based services, as well as strengthening its 2G and 3G coverage. O2 currently claims 4G coverage of 98% of the UK outdoor population.