O2 connects 800 towns and villages across Scotland to 4G in 2017

  • Innovative new technologies help deliver improved mobile connectivity across Scotland to benefit O2 customers
  • Inverness, Aberdeen and Ben Nevis are just three areas to benefit from improved 4G

Throughout 2017, O2 will have delivered high-speed 4G mobile coverage, as well as 2G and 3G coverage, to over 800 new locations across Scotland, bringing improved mobile connectivity to both urban and rural communities across the country. From Ben Nevis in the Highlands to the city centre in Aberdeen and rural areas around Inverness, O2 is overcoming all the challenges of Scotland’s varied terrain and extreme weather for its customers.

Today, over 80% of UK adults own a smartphone and nearly three quarters use a mobile to access the internet on the go[1]. With more businesses and consumers relying on mobile connectivity to carry out their day-to-day lives than ever before. To meet the growing demand for data in every corner of the country, O2 has deployed fleets of helicopters and off-road vehicles to install the new technology and digital infrastructure needed to bring 4G to even more Scottish customers, helping them to connect and do business on the move.

Those living in and around Inverness, Aberdeen and even Ben Nevis are benefiting from the latest innovations in mobile signal-improving technology:

  • Inverness: a new 50 metre mast, will be constructed just outside the city to significantly improve the range and performance of 4G connectivity for customers in the area.
  • Aberdeen: In the bustling city centre, O2 and Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) have installed the UK’s first fibre connected small cell network. Discreetly position on street lights, this compact and innovative tech will improve network capacity and 4G connection speeds for shoppers and city workers, and pave the way for 5G in the future.
  • Ben Nevis: This month, a new mast was introduced in Fort William, the gateway to Ben Nevis, bringing 4G to local customers.

In addition, O2 has installed 85 new generators in some of the most isolated and hard to reach locations across the country, in order to make sure customers’ mobile connectivity isn’t affected by power cuts, often caused by adverse weather conditions.

The improvements to 4G connectivity are being delivered as O2 continues to collaborate with Scottish authorities to ensure Scots in every corner of the country can benefit from faster download speeds.  And the progress doesn’t stop at 4G.  The innovative small cell technology O2 has installed in Aberdeen lays the foundations for the future deployment of 5G.  Earlier this year, O2 research[2] revealed that 5G connectivity will prove itself more economically beneficial than fibre broadband by 2026, contributing an additional £7 billion a year to the UK economy as a whole.

Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer at O2, said: “Of all the ingredients that keep our economy and society moving, arguably top of the list is mobile. Mobile motors our modern world. The need for 4G connectivity is an integral part of modern daily life. A good connection can make all the difference to how we communicate with each other as individuals and it is a key factor to the success of local businesses.

“At O2 we are constantly challenging ourselves to develop and deploy new technology to deliver better connectivity for our customers across Scotland regardless of landscape or weather conditions.”

Connectivity Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “High quality mobile communications for people across Scotland is a priority for the Scottish Government.  Our Mobile Action Plan sets out a clear commitment to working with the mobile industry to deliver improved mobile coverage in Scotland.

“Today’s announcement is an example of the substantial private sector investment in mobile rollout currently taking place in Scotland and represents an important step towards filling mobile coverage gaps across the country, connecting Scotland’s so-called ‘not spots’ to a fast and reliable mobile internet connection. I am delighted that more businesses and consumers across the country can now take advantage of the benefits of 4G.”

The roll-out represents part of O2’s on-going commitment to providing 4G mobile connectivity across the UK. O2 invests over £2 million every day to deliver the best-connected experience for its customers, rolling out 4G as well as strengthening its 2G and 3G coverage. O2’s 4G coverage now covers 98 per cent of the UK outdoor population, helping to connect even more customers to high-speed 4G mobile connectivity and shape the future of a truly mobile Britain.

[1]Ofcom – Communications Market Report 2017

[2] Research study conducted by independent research consultancy Development Economics, commissioned by O2