flame Compare Deals and save hundreds of pounds Sim Only Deals Phone Deals

Progress being made with Scotland’s 4G Infill Scheme

20th February 2020

New Luce, Scotland

Remember the Scottish Government's £25 million 4G Infill Programme? It aimed to improve rural mobile coverage by building a network of 45 new masts across the country for all mobile operators to use. Unfortunately, it's been behind schedule for a while. Finally, the first mast has been built.

While the plan was originally meant to start towards the end of 2018 and then run for 4 years until the end of 2022, it's only now that we've seen one mast be placed. Having said that, the announcement does come with news that 'up to' 24 masts are now set to be erected over the next two years which is promising news. At least, if you forget the fact that the plan was originally meant to involve twice that number by the same deadline.

Still, the first mast is here. It's located in New Luce in Wigtownshire and so far offers a 2G, 3G and 4G (mobile broadband) signal via Vodafone. EE is expected to follow later in the year, but there's no announcement on Three or O2's involvement.

It's slow going but at least there is some progress from the project which is partly funded by the EU and partly by the Scottish Government. In a statement, Scottish Connectivity Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, was positive about developments boasting of how "many more remote and rural parts of Scotland and Scotland's islands will soon enjoy improved, cost-effective connectivity" but he was a bit more cautious about things last year.

Back in October, he admitted that "the biggest challenge is trying to attract interest from mobile operators to actually utilise the masts," and we're guessing that's a big part of the reason why the plans have taken a while to come to fruition.

Such reluctance could be down to past plans putting mobile operators off. There was the failed £150 million Mobile Infrastructure Project which aimed to improve mobile coverage in rural areas but only managed to build 75 out of 575 proposed masts. There's also the £1 billion Shared Rural Network plan which is still in the works, despite suspicion regarding the project form mobile networks.

It's hard not to be a little cynical about whether the 4G Infill Programme will buck this trend or whether it'll be similarly underwhelming in the long run. For now, at least the people of New Luce can enjoy better mobile signal.

Latest Offers

Sim Deals

SIM Card Triple SIM
8 GB Data UNLIMITED Minutes UNLIMITED Texts £8.00 a month
Exclusive Deal
View Details
SIM Card Triple SIM
9 GB Data UNLIMITED Minutes UNLIMITED Texts £8.00 a month
Max speeds 10mbps
View Details
View More

Latest Phones

Compare phone deals and save
Sign up for our newsletter.