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The end of our mobile phone woes?

 
Created on 31/07/2013 @ 14:54

 

Montgomeryshire is one of the top areas in the UK to be part of a £150m UK government project to bring mobile technology to rural areas, it has emerged.

The Mobile Infrastructure Project will see Powys placed as a priority for mobile coverage and the majority of Montgomeryshire will have a mobile phone signal by the end of the year. The government announced the county as one of four UK counties to be prioritised under the scheme.

The project, funded by the UK government, was awarded to Arqiva to build the new site infrastructure, while the four mobile network operators, EE, Telefonica, Three and Vodafone, will be providing coverage from the sites and funding their operating costs for the 20 year life of the project.

The investment is good news for the local economy as it will mean businesses in all parts of Montgomeryshire being able to tap into good quality mobile coverage, as well as residents.

Only small pockets of the area currently have accessibility to 3G and mobile coverage, with some areas unable to receive mobile coverage at all.

In May the government said the A470 trunk road which travels through Wales from Cardiff to Conwy, would also be prioritised for non-stop mobile coverage.

Montgomeryshire politicians, Russell George AM and Glyn Davies MP, have both welcomed the announcement, which they believe will make a real difference to the lives of those living and working in rural Mid Wales.

Mr Davies said: “This is good news for the people of Montgomeryshire and good new for the Mid Wales region. This project will see mobile phone coverage extended to areas of rural Powys where currently none exists.

“It will also provide a significant boost to local economies across the region and allow people to do business in a much easier way.”

Mr George, who is also the Chair of the National Assembly’s Cross Party Group on Digital Communication, said that after a recent meeting with executives from Arqiva to discuss infrastructure challenges in Montgomeryshire, he was told that an announcement was imminent.

Mr George said: “Wales has tended to be well behind UK curve when it comes to the development of digital communications infrastructure and we continue to play catch-up, which certainly hasn’t helped our general economic performance.

“We desperately need to strengthen and enhance our digital infrastructure if we are going to ensure our rural communities are viable places to live and work in the future.”

Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “This project will see mobile phone coverage extended to many of the people who currently live and work in areas where there is none. The project will provide a significant boost to local economies across the UK, and will be instrumental in helping Britain win the global race.

 

Caption: Powys and Montgomeryshire will be part of the first phase of the Mobile Infrastructure Project.

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