Powys could see its 4G mobile signal improve over the next 12 months after EE announced plans to expand the service into 76 locations across Wales.
Areas with high summer demand – such as national parks and main roads – will be among the sites targeted for the next phase of the roll-out of the fast network.
And sites across Powys will be among those to benefit, with Sarn near Newtown, Presteigne, Guilsfield, Churchstoke and Montgomery all on the list.
Also included among the locations to be included in the next round are Llanddew in the Brecon Beacones National Park and Llanwrthwl on the A470 near Llandrindod Wells.
It adds to the sites that have already been included in the upgrades in the last 12 months, among which is Bwlch, also in the Brecon Beacons.
The upgrades are part of the Shared Rural Network initiative, in which the UK’s four main mobile operators – EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone – share their coverage to target 4G blackspots, with the aim of reaching 95 per cent of the UK’s geographic areas by the middle of this decade.
Across the UK, a total of 579 locations are to benefit from the extended EE 4G coverage by the end of 2021 – 333 in England, 132 in Scotland, 76 in Wales, and 38 in Northern Ireland. All sites have been made available for other operators to share under the SRN scheme.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “We are committed to boosting Wales’ digital infrastructure and the work between the network operators and the UK Government on the Shared Rural Network has seen major improvements in many rural areas, bringing significant benefits to individuals and businesses.
“It is great news that more than 60 upgrades are planned in Wales this year alone, including in our National Parks in Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast.”
Matt Warman, UK Government Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said: “I’m delighted to see the great strides EE is making to boost 4G services in countryside communities as part of the Shared Rural Network agreement, which was brokered and is part funded by the government.
“We’re investing half a billion pounds in this landmark deal to extend mobile coverage to 95 per cent of the UK and it will help us build back better from the pandemic.”
Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT Group, said: “Reliable connectivity is important wherever you live, work or travel, and we’re committed to improving and adding coverage to even the most remote areas. The investment BT has made in rural areas to date means we already have the infrastructure in place needed to extend our 4G coverage footprint further, minimising the number of new sites we need to build.
“There are many places where EE is the only provider with 4G coverage today, offering the other operators an opportunity to share our existing sites to plug gaps in their networks and improve mobile performance for everyone.”
Here are all the locations to be included in Mid Wales:
- Pant Mawr Llanidloes
- Llanddew, Brecon, Powys, Brecon Beacons National Park
- Sarn, Newtown
- Presteigne, Powys, A44
- Llanwrthwl, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, A470
- Llangammarch Wells, Powys
- Dolau, Llandrindod Wells, Powys
- Llandrindod Wells, Powys
- Ponterwyd, Ceredigion, A44
- Llanwrin, Machynlleth, Powys
- Guilsfield, Welshpool, Powys
- Kington, Powys
- Llangrannog, Ceredigion
- Aberarth, Aberaeron, Ceredigion
- Church Stoke, Montgomery, Powys
- Llangwyryfon, Aberystwyth
- Llanelwedd Builth Wells, Powys
- Llandinam, Powys, A470
- Ponterwyd, Ceredigion