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Virgin Media O2 Expands Mobile Coverage in Rural UK

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In a significant boost to rural connectivity, Virgin Media O2 has recently achieved a landmark in the Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative by completing upgrades or constructing 100 sites under its management. This development is set to offer unprecedented mobile coverage quality to rural communities, benefiting not just its own customers but also those of Three and Vodafone, thanks to a collaborative effort to enhance infrastructure.

This achievement positions Virgin Media O2 as the leading operator in terms of infrastructure delivery within the SRN programme. With this latest advancement, the company’s customers, along with those of Three and Vodafone, will now enjoy reliable 4G services across 146 rural locales.

A notable highlight of this project is the Isle of Skye, Scotland’s second-largest island, which marked the 100th site to receive improved mobile connectivity. The deployment of new 4G masts on the island was facilitated by helicopters, showcasing the lengths to which Virgin Media O2 is willing to go to connect the most remote areas.

The SRN programme, a collaborative effort between the UK’s leading mobile network operators and the government, aims to extend 4G coverage to 95% of the UK by the end of 2025, representing a £1 billion investment in connectivity infrastructure.

Out of the 100 sites developed or enhanced by Virgin Media O2, a significant portion is located in remote areas of Scotland, with others spread across rural England and Northern Ireland. These upgrades are crucial for delivering faster and more dependable mobile data services and improving voice call quality in regions previously afflicted by inadequate coverage.

Jeanie York, Virgin Media O2’s Chief Technology Officer, emphasized the company’s commitment to bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas. According to York, this initiative is essential for ensuring that rural communities receive the same quality of mobile connectivity as urban centers, underscoring the importance of digital inclusion in today’s internet-centric society. With more site upgrades planned in the near future, Virgin Media O2 is steadfast in its mission to enhance mobile coverage across the UK’s rural landscape.

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