Virgin Media O2 Achieves Milestone in UK’s Rural Connectivity Program

Virgin Media O2 surpasses milestone, upgrading 100 sites under the Shared Rural Network program, enhancing mobile coverage in remote UK areas.

Highlights

  • Virgin Media O2 upgrades or builds 100 sites under the SRN program.
  • Isle of Skye became the 100th site to be delivered by Virgin Media O2.
  • Aim to extend 4G coverage to 95 percent of UK's landmass by 2025.

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Virgin Media O2 Achieves Milestone in UK's Rural Connectivity Program
UK's Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) has reached a milestone in its efforts to improve mobile connectivity in rural areas through the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme. The company announced this week that it has upgraded or constructed 100 sites, providing residents, businesses, and visitors in remote communities with faster and more reliable mobile coverage.

Also Read: Virgin Media O2 Boosts Rural UK Connectivity With 5G, Upgrades 4G




Delivering Enhanced Connectivity

According to the company, this achievement positions Virgin Media O2 ahead of other operators in delivering new infrastructure under the SRN programme. Notably, these 100 sites, controlled by VMO2, benefit not only Virgin Media O2 customers but also users of Three and Vodafone networks. Customers of these telcos can now benefit from 4G services at 146 rural locations in the UK.

VMO2 highlighted that for the 100th site, situated on the Isle of Skye, the second-largest island in Scotland, the company used helicopters to transport and install new 4G masts, reaching even the most challenging geographical locations.

The SRN, a joint effort between the UK's four mobile network operators (Virgin Media O2, EE, Three, and Vodafone) and the UK Government, aims to extend 4G coverage to 95 percent of the UK's landmass by the end of 2025, with a GBP 1 billion investment.

Also Read: Virgin Media O2 Expands Broadband Services With XGS-PON Technology Across UK

Reaching Remote Geographical Locations

Of the 100 sites upgraded or built by Virgin Media O2, 78 are located in remote parts of Scotland, including areas such as Shetland, Ardross, and Argyll and Bute. Additionally, 19 sites are in rural parts of England, covering regions like Yorkshire, Suffolk, and Kent. Three sites are situated in Northern Ireland, the company said.

These enhancements reportedly deliver faster and more reliable mobile data services, addressing previous challenges of patchy or slow connectivity in rural areas and improving voice call quality.

Also Read: Virgin Media O2 Launches 2 Gbps Residential Broadband Service in UK

Impact on Rural Communities

"We're going to extreme lengths to connect the most remote corners of the UK to deliver our share of the Shared Rural Network," Virgin Media O2 said. "The 100 sites we have delivered will mean that more residents, businesses, and visitors in rural areas can benefit from better mobile coverage, with more locations to follow in the coming months. This work is vital in tackling the urban-rural digital divide that exists in the UK."

SRN is considered to be a sustainable approach to the challenge of delivering rural mobile coverage. Reportedly, the programme will transform 4G coverage without duplicating infrastructure, minimizing the impact on the countryside.

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