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O2 Connects 800 Towns & Villages In Scotland To 4G

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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O2 Scotland coverage makes progress in 2017

O2 says it will have connected more than 800 Scottish towns and villages to 4G by the end of the year. 

The operator says the challenging terrain of the country has made it difficult to extend coverage but it has endeavoured to find solutions. 

For example, it has installed one mast at Fort William to provide coverage around Ben Nevis and will helicopter in engineers to build another one higher up the mountain so climbers are covered. 

Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland

Scotland O2 

It has also installed 85 generators so coverage isn’t affected by power cuts caused by weather conditions in the hard to reach locations in the highlands and islands. 

However there have also been efforts in more urbanised areas, such as a 50 metre mast on the outskirts of Inverness and a trial of small cells in Aberdeen, which will form the basis for a national rollout ahead of 5G. 

“A good connection can make all the difference to how we communicate with each other as individuals and it is a key factor to the success of local businesses, said Derek McManus, O2 COO. 

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“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.” 

Recent Rootmetrics data found Scotland’s major cities had the best mobile coverage in the UK, while EE says it will have covered 80 percent of the country’s landmass by the end of 2017. EE has also built the UK’s highest 4G site at 2,800 metres above sea level at Glencoe Mountain. 

The SNP has welcomed O2’s achievement having made major superfast broadband and 4G pledges in its manifesto for the 2017 General Election earlier this year. 

“Today’s announcement is an example of the substantial private sector investment in mobile rollout currently taking place in Scotland and represents an important step towards filling mobile coverage gaps across the country, connecting Scotland’s so-called ‘not spots’ to a fast and reliable mobile internet connection,” said Connectivity Secretary Fergus Ewing.  

“I am delighted that more businesses and consumers across the country can now take advantage of the benefits of 4G.” 

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