Three UK has completed the construction of 100 sites as part of the UK’s Shared Rural Network (SRN). Today’s milestone will transform connectivity for residents and businesses across the UK.
The Shared Rural Network is a £1 billion programme supported by the mobile industry and Government that aims to improve connectivity in the UK’s most rural locations and increase all operators’ 4G coverage to 90% of UK landmass and their aggregate coverage to 95% by 2026.
Three UK has now delivered sites across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which will provide new 4G connectivity to over 37,000 premises, with coverage spanning 2,800 square kilometres.
While the SRN programme is being delivered across the four home nations, the largest commitment is to Scotland. So far, 65 of Three’s 100 SRN sites have been deployed across Scotland, and will provide coverage for 12,500 premises across nearly 2,000 square kilometres of the UK’s most remote locations.
The Isle of Colonsay, located in the Inner Hebrides close to the Scottish mainland, previously had no 4G coverage. But, following Three UK’s commitment, there is now 93% 4G network coverage on the island, transforming connectivity capabilities for over 150 premises in an area of 41 square kilometres.
Iain Milligan, Chief Network Officer of Three UK, said: “With mobile connectivity becoming increasingly critical to everyday life, it is vital that we provide a network capable of supporting local economies and communities in every part of the UK. The 100th site in Three’s SRN network is another significant milestone and will transform rural access to 4G. We continue to deliver on our commitments, but the locations we are focusing on are remote and challenging, and we continue to work with local authorities to try and progress as best as possible.”
In addition to the 4G coverage improvement afforded through SRN network deployments, following Three UK’s agreement with Vodafone UK to combine their businesses, UK connectivity will be further enhanced. The combined business will deploy high-capacity 5G to 86% of the UK’s population by 2030, boosting local economies by bringing advanced 5G technologies to cities and towns, including around 400 small towns that could benefit from earlier access to high-capacity 5G.