back to article UK.gov about to release £500m funding for Shared Rural Network targeting countryside 4G notspots

The UK government is set to release £500m of funding for the Shared Rural Network to improve mobile access in far-flung areas by adding new infrastructure and convincing operators to share their antennas with rivals. Formally announced in March 2020, the deal also includes the UK's four mobile providers – EE, Three, O2, and …

  1. Mike 137 Silver badge

    The project is intended to bring improved competition in rural parts

    Rural parts? Four miles outside the M25 in the most densely populated part of Hertfordshire I have to hang over the bathroom sink to make or take an indoor mobile call, and if I turn my head the signal dies.

    Competition for what? The crappiest connectivity?

    1. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

      Re: The project is intended to bring improved competition in rural parts

      Have you tried "WiFi calling"? Not sure which operators support it, but it enables your 4G or WiFi to be used when your 2g phone signal does not work. May already be available on your phone settings?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The project is intended to bring improved competition in rural parts

        Not much use if you're visiting the area.

        1. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

          Re: The project is intended to bring improved competition in rural parts

          Well, quite, but I had assumed he was referring to his own bathroom?

          If anyone has a mobile signal problem and has a reasonable technical head, I would recommend checking Cellmapper.net, it shows you exactly who has a mast, which direction it is facing and if you're willing to delve into it, you can even check which frequency bands are available.

          You can literally use this to check who should theoretically give you the best signal. On my street I can see EE and Vodafone have good line of sight masts, but by chance O2 and Three are on the wrong side of a large building. This situation flips around everywhere.

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I have to hang over the bathroom sink to make or take an indoor mobile call

      Have you ever considered that your phone might be tapped?

    3. Mr Dogshit
      Headmaster

      Re: I have to hang over the bathroom sink

      It's not a sink, it's a basin.

  2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: £500 million

      You need to look very carefully to make sure that (a) it's not the same £500m that was announced at least once before and (b) it actually happens.

  3. s. pam
    Holmes

    Where's my crack pipe when I need it???

    None of the mobile networks can maintain a reliable signal on the A4 between Reading and Maidenhead. Fat chance in hell this will be anything that more money blown that could have been spent giving nurses a pay rise.

    1. Nifty Silver badge

      Re: Where's my crack pipe when I need it???

      That A4 was part of my pre Covid commute. My phone was on Three at the time. I used it to listen to internet radio on the car audio on the way home. Never had any interruptions.

      1. MatthewSt Silver badge

        Re: Where's my crack pipe when I need it???

        Internet radio is quite tolerant of drop outs. It's buffered and delivered over TCP for the most part, so as long as you can receive data probably about 20% of the time you won't notice any gaps. It's also only heavy in one direction, and tolerant of latency

  4. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

    There's a lot of interesting stuff going on here. I'm more interested to hear how the 700MHz spectrum auction goes, having an entirely new long distance spectrum available on all 4 carriers could be amazing, especially when aggregated on a 4xMIMO external network.

    My parents suffered for years in a remote hilly BT copper line on 0.5meg unreliable broadband. I convinced a sceptical papa to install an external 4G antenna on EE mobile broadband and he's now getting 35 meg reliably. With an added 700MHz channel this might reach 50-60meg,at which point I think he'll have kittens.

  5. Aitor 1

    Spacex

    It would be way cheaper to pay spacex for coverage, and they would actually deliver.

  6. Alan Brown Silver badge

    SpaceX has entered the building

    Already getting money in other parts of the world for doing exactly this AND DELIVERING

    but....."not invented here" (and not enough handshakes on golf courses going on)

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