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Virgin Media O2 and Starlink “link’ bring connectivity to remote Scottish areas

Staff Reporter
April 15, 2024

Virgin Media O2 is using the Starlink constellation of low earth orbit satellites  to boost mobile services in most remote locations as part of the Shared Rural Network programme.

Starlink’s LEO satellites will connect to phone masts unreachable with fibre optic cables or microwave to give connectivity to more rural communities. The Starlink mobile backhaul has been deployed to sites in the Scottish Highlands. The project has been delivered in collaboration with shareholder, Telefónica Global Services (TGS), which is an official Starlink reseller.

A recent trial in northern Scotland proved satellites can be used to carry mobile traffic to and from the remote location mobile masts.

Virgin Media O2 is also exploring how satellite connectivity provide coverage for emergency services and improved connectivity at special events. 

Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2 (below), said: “Our commitment to delivering on our part of the Shared Rural Network programme has seen us use helicopters and now satellites to connect some of the most remote parts of the country and bringing reliable mobile coverage to rural communities faster.

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