The Shared Rural Network (SRN) was developed by the UK government and the UK’s four Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to deliver 4G coverage to 95% of the UK, enabling rural businesses and communities to thrive.
Through the programme the UK’s four MNOs – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone expect to:
- Provide coverage to an additional 280,000 premises and to road users of an additional 16,000 km of the UK’s roads.
- Improve geographic coverage to 79% of Areas of Natural Beauty, up from 51%, and 74% of National Parks from 41%, benefitting millions of visitors every year.
- By upgrading their existing networks and working together on shared infrastructure and new sites, the MNOs and government will transform mobile coverage in rural areas. Individually, each operator will reach 90% geographic coverage, which will result in 84% of the UK having 4G coverage from all four operators, increasing choice and boosting productivity in rural areas.
To deliver the programme, MNOs will invest £532m to eliminate the majority of ‘partial not-spots’ – areas which receive coverage from at least one, but not all operators. The UK government will provide a further £500m to build new masts to eliminate ‘total not-spots’ – hard to reach areas where there is currently no coverage at all.
The SRN is a sustainable approach to the challenge of delivering rural mobile coverage. The programme will transform 4G coverage without duplicating infrastructure, minimising the impact on our countryside.