Mobile coverage to improve in rural areas

Up to 60,000 premises and sections of road will be added to the mobile map as part of a £150million scheme.

Mobile coverage is to be extended to reach more of the UK's most rural locations.

The government has today announced that Arqiva, which specialises in communications infrastructure, has been awarded funding to boost out-of-town mobile services.

As many as 60,000 premises and sections of road will be covered as part of the £150million Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which aims to put mobile coverage, and enable 3G mobile broadband, where it would not be commercially viable for a network operator to do so.

The MIP sits alongside other similar initiatives, including the £530million Rural Broadband Project and a £150million 'super connected' cities scheme.

Nicholas Ott, managing director of government, mobile and enterprise at Arqiva, said: "We're excited to be working on this important initiative.

"By investing in mobile infrastructure, the government can help bridge the social and technological divides created in areas where commercial service is not economical, and we're proud to be part of this process."

Culture minister Ed Vaizey added: "Arqiva's appointment today is great news for rural communities throughout the UK, who stand to benefit enormously.

"Good mobile connectivity is becoming increasingly important and it's crucial that businesses and individuals are not left struggling with poor and intermittent coverage."

The government will announce which locations are to benefit later this summer.

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