Rural areas are more challenging locations for mobile networks than towns and cities, as they tend to be remote and sparsely populated, but EE is making a big push to bring coverage to them, and is even bringing 4G to extremely isolated locations like the island of Coll in the Hebrides with a population of just 220 people.
According to the Island News and Advertiser, EE’s 4G network is now live there, but this wasn’t easy to achieve, with Mansoor Hanif, EE’s network director saying:
“The challenging conditions and unique site on Coll demonstrate the innovation and engineering excellence of BT Group’s network team, bringing mobile to communities that have little or no connectivity. We’re delighted to bring EE’s superfast 4G to the businesses and residents of Coll so they can stay connected on the UK’s biggest and most reliable mobile network.”
EE is no stranger to bringing 4G to UK islands, having also upgraded its network in the Shetland Islands, while residents of the Channel Islands have benefited from 4G on the more local Jersey Telecom (JT) network.
But until now Coll has only had 4G coverage from Vodafone, with most networks lacking even 3G on the island, so this should be hugely beneficial to residents and visitors. They’ll be able to work on the move or when there’s no Wi-Fi available, make video calls and stream and download at high speed.
Perhaps even more importantly, the roll out of 4G on Coll means that the island will be able to access EE’s planned 4G Emergency Services network, set to start rolling out next year.
Looking ahead, EE plans to bring 4G coverage to 95% of the UK landmass by 2020, up from the over two thirds of the UK geography which it already covers. The network already has over 97% UK population coverage and is also working on newer, faster forms of 4G.