EE has announced that it’s in the process of upgrading 2,000 areas around the UK with 4G connectivity. While 5G is out now and 4G doesn’t sound like an upgrade, it’s important to note that the areas concerned have poor or no connectivity so getting 4G to these rural areas is quite significant.
The firm said that the upgrades come as part of the Shared Rural Network programme which sees the UK telecoms work together to provide connectivity in rural areas that are costly to upgrade otherwise. So far, 853 sites have been upgraded, this includes 449 in England, 265 in Scotland, 97 in Wales, and 42 in Northern Ireland.
EE said on Wednesday that it was now pledging to bring 4G to a further 1,532 sites by mid-2024. There will be 925 sites in England, 359 in Scotland, 125 in Northern Ireland, and 123 in Wales. Once these have been upgraded, a total of 2,385 sites will have received a 4G upgrade.
Commenting on the news, Philip Jansen, Chief Executive of BT Group (which owns EE), said:
“The investment BT has made in rural areas means we have the infrastructure in place to extend our 4G coverage footprint even further, minimising the number of new sites we need to build to ensure everyone has access to reliable connectivity. EE is still the only provider of 4G coverage in many places across the UK, and we encourage other operators to recognise the opportunity sharing our sites offers to fill gaps in their networks.”
As the decade goes on and more internet-connected devices and vehicles come online, it will be more important than ever that most of the country is covered by mobile internet connectivity. It’s also nice for those people living in those areas as it will enable greater freedom with the ability to work from home if they want to.