EE said it will upgrade 4G network in more than 500 areas in 2021 as part of the Shared Rural Network initiative to extend coverage in rural areas across the UK.
SRN is a program between the UK’s four mobile network operators and Government to extend 4G coverage to 95 percent of the UK’s geography by the middle of this decade. The upgrades announced today fall under the first phase of the Shared Rural Network, where EE will invest to significantly reduce partial not-spots by 2024.
EE has upgraded its 4G network in 110 areas since the SRN deal was signed in March 2020 to bring improved connectivity to each UK nation. A further 469 upgrades will follow by the end of this year, meaning a total of 579 areas will benefit from extended EE 4G coverage by the end of 2021 – 333 in England, 132 in Scotland, 76 in Wales, and 38 in Northern Ireland.
Matt Warman, minister for Digital Infrastructure, said: “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: “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, minimizing the number of new sites we need to build.”
EE has extended its 4G network to cover areas with high summer demand, including all 15 of Great Britain’s National Parks, coastal locations and roads. Coverage in National Parks has increased by more than 200KM², the equivalent of more than 40,000 football fields, and EE’s 4G network now covers 94 percent of roads in Great Britain.