02 July 2017
O2 has installed the first permanent 4G mobile mast in one of the UK’s most remote villages. The deployment has brought mobile connectivity to a rural community that was completely cut off from all communications just over 18 months ago.
In the summer of 2015, Staylittle in Powys experienced a communications blackout that it cut off from the outside world for nearly two weeks. With the nearest town located around eight miles away, residents in the Welsh village relied on one working landline in the local post office and had to resort to expensive, patchy satellite-based home internet to get online.
In response, O2 installed a temporary 2G mobile which enabled voice calls and texts in Staylittle for the first time. Since then, the company has worked in collaboration with local authorities to install a permanent 4G mobile mast. This now provides full 3G and 4G coverage to the entire village.
“We pride ourselves on listening to customers, but we also listen to communities who have yet to feel part of a digitally connected Britain,” claims O2 CTO Brendan O’Reilly. “Ever since we heard Staylittle’s story in 2015, we’ve worked tirelessly to get its residents to this point – where they can make calls and access the internet and social media on the move just like most of the country.”
Beyond Staylittle, O2 plans to bring high speed 4G mobile internet to a further 395 Welsh villages by the end of the year.
The mobile operator adds that it invests more than £2m every day to develop its network across the UK, and that its 4G footprint now covers 96.8 per cent of the population outdoors.