A plan to increase and improve mobile phone ­coverage in Scotland has been agreed with ­operators, the Scottish Government has announced.

The proposals will see ministers work with the industry to maximise ­commercial investment in 4G mobile in ­Scotland, and support 5G-ready infrastructure across the country.

Operators involved include EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone.

Cabinet Secretary for ­Connectivity Fergus Ewing said: “Ensuring high quality digital connectivity for people across Scotland is a priority for the Scottish Government.

“That is why we are doing everything we can to improve the case for investment in Scotland, despite this being the responsibility of the UK Government. We have been working closely with the UK mobile network operators, and they have demonstrated a clear commitment to maximising coverage.

“Significant progress is being made towards meeting 4G coverage obligations, but we collectively recognise that coverage gaps will still remain in some rural and remote areas.

“We will identify where those gaps are after the commercial rollout and, together with the industry, will jointly design technology solutions and business models that will allow services to be delivered in a sustainable way.”

Partners in the plan include the digital team at Scottish Futures Trust, who will provide technical and policy support, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, who have been liaising with operators and planning authorities to ensure that commercial rollout across the region ­proceeds as smoothly as possible.

Two years ago a report found that Scotland had the worst mobile coverage in the UK.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called on the Scottish government to relax planning rules to allow development to boost coverage.

It cited Scottish government research which suggested that more than a quarter of the country lacked adequate coverage.

Source: Scotsman

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