Cornwall and Northumberland are among the regions that stand to benefit the most from the government’s £150 million Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP).
The fund is aimed at improving mobile voice and data signals in the parts of the UK where they’re patchy or non-existent. All four of the UK’s mobile networks will indirectly benefit from cash injections which will be used to set up new antennas over the next two years.
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey says: “This project will see mobile phone coverage extended to many of the people who currently live and work in areas where there is none. The project will provide a significant boost to local economies across the UK, and will be instrumental in helping Britain win the global race.”
Aberdeenshire, Cornwall, Northumberland, Powys and Strabane are the areas that will see the most improvement over the next two years. The map above shows roughly where MIP signal improvements will arrive and when.
Communications firm Arqiva will be responsible for building the new masts and has announced it’s already started scouting for locations.
Arqiva’s CEO John Cresswell said: “We are delighted to be working with the Government and Mobile Network Operators to improve mobile phone coverage in the areas announced. Investing in mobile infrastructure will support the economy, reduce the technological divide and benefit the social fabric of our regions and villages.”
The MIP is something of a sibling venture to Broadband Delivery for the UK (BDUK). As with BDUK, the MIP will mainly benefit those living in remote rural regions. Given the rate of progress EE has made with its 4G rollout and speed upgrades it looks as though the MIP has a better chance of being finished on schedule.