O2 to invest in rural 4G coverage
O2’s investment means we can all be looking forward to better connectivity by the end of 2018, especially in the UK’s more rural communities, all the way from Drumoak in Banchory, to Lizard in Cornwall.
The upgrade will affect 250,000 residents in rural communities, improving quality of life and business productivity. In fact, rural businesses are set for a revenue growth of up to £141 million, driven by the implementation of 4G. This, along with a predicted 31% growth in employment rates, could mean a £45 million boost to the UK economy.
This comes after the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Rural Businesses published a report calling for better 4G connectivity in rural areas, claiming that this will have the potential to “revolutionise country life and the rural economy”, and to overcome “detrimental impacts to their businesses”.
The tourism and hospitality sector is predicted to benefit most from O2’s rural network rollout. According to the report, there is set to be an extra £57.7 million in additional revenue a year after completion, because rural businesses will be given the opportunity to take advantage of how connectivity can enhance business in many different areas, and therefore attract more customers.
In addition to this, manufacturers and transport businesses are also predicted to gain enormously from enhanced 4G connectivity, with an estimated extra £24.1 million and £15.4 million in revenue respectively.
Last year, O2 installed the first permanent 4G mobile mast in secluded hamlet Staylitte, in Powys, Wales. This installation brought transformative communications to the previously cut-off hamlet.
O2 have released statements on the importance of investing in Britain’s rural communities, and indeed the facts and figures seem to say it all. The way in which technology can really change lives and boost the country’s economy can be seen in action here. Indeed, Derek McManus, COO at Telefonica UK, said: “We know mobile has the power to make a real, positive difference to people’s lives and businesses in rural communities across Britain. That’s why we’re proud to be investing in 4G connectivity for more than 330 rural areas by the end of this year.”