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Virgin Media O2 choppers 4G masts to Outer Hebrides Uist Islands

Staff Reporter
June 12, 2024

Virgin Media O2 has used a helicopter to deliver three new 4G mobile phone masts to the remote Uist islands in the Outer Hebrides as part of the £1bn Shared Rural Network programme.

Uist is a group of six islands that are part of the Outer Hebridean Archipelago, which is part of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. North Uist and South Uist are two of the islands and are linked by causeways running via the isles of Benbecula and Grimsay.

The upgrades will cover a partial not-spot and provide residents, businesses, and visitors with faster and more reliable mobile connectivity. The new 4G masts were flown in by helicopter during the May bank holiday weekend.

Currently, over 20 percent of the area lacks 4G coverage from all four mobile network operators, with signal blackspots.

York: “delighted to bring enhanced mobile connectivity to Uist.”

Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2, said, “Many rural parts of Scotland are already benefiting from our rollout of new and upgraded masts, and we are delighted to bring enhanced mobile connectivity to Uist.”

Operators will invest £532m to eliminate most ‘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.’

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