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O2 Social Media Team
Posts: 997
Registered: ‎27-11-2013

Enhanced 4G for over 330 rural communities

Hey all,

Today O2 has some exciting news to share that will benefit rural residents and business' alike, with an investment in enhanced 4G. See headlines below, including a video from residents of Staylittle, and more details on our plan.

  • O2 will invest in enhanced 4G connectivity in over 330 communities, from Drumoak to Lizard, by the end of 2018, resulting in better connectivity for 250,000 rural residents
  • Rural businesses set for revenue boost of up to £141m driven by the implementation of 4G, representing a potential £45m boost to the UK economy and boost to underlying employment growth of 31%[1], according to new independent research
  • Mobile network operator releases new evidence to highlight the importance of connecting rural Britain to mobile
  • Last year, O2 installed the first permanent 4G mobile mast in remote hamlet, Staylittle, in Powys, Wales, bringing transformative communications to a previously cut off community


Rural businesses across Britain are set to receive an overall economic boost of approximately £141m per annum from 4G connectivity, according to new economic research commissioned by O2 and conducted by Development Economics. The mobile network operator is today committing to improve 4G connectivity for a further 339 rural communities[2], from Drumoak to Lizard, by the end of 2018.


The report, entitled ‘The Benefits of Connecting Rural Communities’, predicts that improved 4G connectivity will benefit over 14,000 rural businesses, boosting their collective revenue[3] by as much as £141m per annum. A year on, the revenue boost to rural businesses could also inject an additional £44.6m in additional GVA[4].

Tourism, transport and manufacturing to benefit most

The tourism and hospitality sector is set to benefit the most from O2’s rural network rollout. According to the report, O2’s rollout is expected to create an additional £57.7m in additional revenue a year after completion, as rural businesses take advantage of new opportunities and efficiencies mobile connectivity offers to attract customers and save time and money.


Rural manufacturers and transport businesses are also predicted to gain from enhanced 4G connectivity, with an estimated additional £24.1m and £15.4m in revenue respectively.


Derek McManus, COO at Telefonica UK
, commented:

“We know mobile has the power to make a real, positive difference to people’s lives and businesses in rural communities across Britain. That’s why we’re proud to be investing in 4G connectivity for more than 330 rural areas by the end of this year.


Technology never stands still, which is why we are always looking for the right partners and investing in our future network. Whether trialling 5G to support a future-proof, mobile Britain, or ensuring the remotest parts of rural Britain can connect to 4G, for O2, this is about continuing to invest in all areas – not one at the cost of the other.


Margot James, Digital Minister
, said:

4G coverage is improving all the time, but there’s more to do, particularly in rural areas. We’ve already reformed planning laws to make it easier and cheaper to install and upgrade digital infrastructure, and it’s great to see O2 and the rest of industry responding to ensure more people in rural Britain can share the brilliant benefits of 4G connectivity.


The rural rollout is part of O2’s commitment to delivering the best mobile experience for its customers. The operator invests over £2 million per day to maintain and improve its network. Earlier this year, Ofcom confirmed that O2 had delivered against its commitment to providing 98% indoor 4G coverage and 90% geographical landmass mass coverage across the UK. This enhanced and expanded coverage helped O2 to scoop uSwitch’s 2018 award for Best Network Coverage, as voted by the public.

Last year, O2 installed the first permanent 4G mobile mast in remote hamlet, Staylittle, in Powys, Wales, bringing mobile connectivity to a rural community that had previously been cut off from all communications.


Residents said the transformative impact of improved mobile coverage for rural communities cannot be understated. Anne Griffith, a farmer in Staylittle, said, “4G mobile connectivity has improved the way my business operates and it’s really helped us grow, as we can now speak to potential customers even when we’re out on the fields.” Meanwhile, Gary Mitchell, Chairman of the South and Mid Wales rescue team, credited improved connectivity as a critical tool for saving lives. “4G mobile connectivity has allowed us to respond faster to calls and locate people more quickly.”

For further information and to hear what Staylittle’s residents have to say, visit o2.co.uk/news.

Original Source: http://o2.uk/RuralBritain

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Re: Enhanced 4G for over 330 rural communities

Shame the 339 communities not listed
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Henstridge Rural South Somerset (Full 4g 3G 2g indoor coverage) Remember we are all customers here not customer services

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Registered: ‎24-11-2014

Re: Enhanced 4G for over 330 rural communities

[ Edited ]

I live in the Scottish Highlands (Wester Ross).  At present here we have only 2g coverage if any at all from O2.  Many people have no broadband internet either.  However we are increasingly expected to depend on the internet for a wide variety of things so we need 4G.   We also have a tourism based economy here which urgently needs this for both visitors and local tourism businesses alike.

 

I question the statement that, "Earlier this year, Ofcom confirmed that O2 had delivered against its commitment to providing 98% indoor 4G coverage and 90% geographical landmass mass coverage across the UK. This enhanced and expanded coverage helped O2 to scoop uSwitch’s 2018 award for Best Network Coverage, as voted by the public."   This seems very unlikely to be true; the Highland Council area alone comprises 1/8 of Great Britain and O2's 4G coverage is confined to  few more popluated areas. 

 

Unfortunately there seems to be no way of finding out when O2 intend to deliver this upgrade, if ever.  It is a pity this announcement does not include the communities that will benefit, or when - apart from a single mast in Wales.  Not good enough O2.  This announcement seems to us like at best a vague promise to do something in the future, or at worst, a slap in the face.

 

If O2 is really committed to rolling out 4G - or even 3G - please make that clear, and specific.