Rural areas missing out on digital coverage

Scotland is falling behind in mobile phone coverage according to a report by phone experts Which?.

The OpenSignal ‘State of Mobile Networks: UK’ report, produced alongside consumers rights charity Which?, found that mobile users in Scotland can only access 4G signal 50.4% of the time - with average download speeds around 21.1Mbps.

North East MSP, and Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson on connectivity, Mike Rumbles said: “Digital connectivity is in a sorry state for many communities in the rural parts of Scotland.

“The findings of this report are of no surprise to those who live in rural communities in the North East.  Connectivity across the region is patchy at best. Even in the city there is no guarantee of coverage, and in many rural parts of Aberdeenshire, Angus and Tayside mobile phone services are non-existent.

“Where I live near Alford, we have no mobile coverage and internet speeds can be painstakingly slow. But we know that a poor service can be bad of for local business, damaging to the economy, and can leave vulnerable people stranded.  

“It’s essential the UK and Scottish Governments do more to ensure we don’t fall any further behind, priorities rural areas, and to hold providers to account.”


Notes to Editors

  • Which? has done a comprehensive breakdown of the report, which include analysis of all 12 regions. An embargoed copy of the report can be requested by contacting Which? at - 020 7770 7805.
  • The report also reviewed the performance of the four major mobile providers in Scotland. EE (55.06%), O2 (54.68%) and Vodafone (56.19%) all provide similar connection levels to their network. Three, however, perform much worse, with their customers in Scotland only able to access 4G signal on average 33.52% of the time.
  • London comes top with 69.7% access to 4G, and Northern Ireland has the best download speed at 23.3Mbps.

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