Arqiva awarded Government contract to install rural network


£150m project will improve mobile connectivity in areas covering 60,000 homes and businesses

Infrastructure company Arqiva has won a Government contract to install mobile network equipment into remote areas as part of an initiative to improve coverage in rural areas.

The Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) aims to provide the facilities for a good mobile service to areas where there is no commercial case to do so. £150 million has been allocated to the project to bring connectivity to areas covering 60,000 homes and businesses.

MIP runs alongside other, similar, public sector initiatives including the Rural Broadband and ‘super-connected cities’ projects, which have combined funding of £680m.

Under the contract, Arqiva will install network equipment, acquire sites and secure planning permission.

Arqiva managing director of government, mobile and enterprise Nicolas Ott said: “We’re excited to be working with the Government and mobile operators on this important initiative. By investing in mobile infrastructure, the Government can help bridge the social and technological divides created in areas where commercial service is not economical, and we’re proud to be part of this process.

“MIP perfectly fits within our strategy of creating a range of platforms – cellular, WiFi and small cells – that provide mobile connectivity to all and support a thriving digital economy in the UK.”

UK culture minister Ed Vaizey added: “Arqiva’s appointment today is great news for rural communities throughout the UK, who stand to benefit enormously from this £150m project to improve mobile phone coverage.

“Good mobile connectivity is becomingly increasingly important and it is crucial that businesses and individuals are not left struggling with poor and intermittent coverage.”