The not-for-profit organisation, Project Beyond Consortium, has responded to the proposal by UK mobile operators to pool resources to address 4G coverage gaps in rural areas.
On October 25th, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) announced its support for a Shared Rural Network (SRN) plan by UK Mobile Operators to deliver 4G mobile coverage to 95% of the UK by 2025, including additional coverage for 16,000km of roads. This will include the sharing of phone masts to improve coverage.
Having expressed its concerns regarding mobile coverage to George Freeman MP, Minister of State (Department for Transport) this month, Project Beyond Consortium has said it welcomes the prospect of improved coverage for the critical transport infrastructure located in rural areas. According to Ofcom data published in September, only 56% of UK A and B roads had 4G coverage across all mobile operators. This figure was unchanged since September 2018 and presented a barrier to the deployment of connected transport and mobility solutions. The SRN proposal would see each individual operator reach 92% coverage by 2025.
Project Beyond Consortium said it will be approaching the mobile operators and their infrastructure suppliers to explore the deployment and impact assessment of new transport and mobility solutions enabled by the SRN.