Mobile phone giant O2 has installed a 4G mobile mast in one of the UK’s most remote areas in central Wales.
It’s part of plans to bring high speed 4G to nearly 400 Welsh villages by the end of the year.
The tiny village of Staylittle hit the headlines back in 2015 when residents were entirely cut off from the rest of the UK.
For two weeks there was no mobile signal or broadband coverage at all, and locals had to rely on a single landline phone in the village Post Office to make phone calls and keep in touch with the outside world.
Local residents say Staylittle has already seen a massive difference from the new 4G mast.
Having mobile internet access has already made a big difference to the local community.
We’re all very happy to be able to connect online with our family and friends – a luxury that is often taken for granted elsewhere in the UK.- Becky Williams: Owner, Kids Company clothing, Staylittle
O2 say their 4G network now covers 96.8 per cent of the UK population outdoors.
If you don’t want to take their word for it, here are the top 2017 independent reports on exactly which UK mobile network has the best rated 4G for speed and availability.
Winners: EE tops Opensignal fastest 4G
EE dropped a 429Mbps bombshell with its 4G+ network launch in Cardiff this week, putting pressure on other mobile operators to roll out big changes to hoover up all those potential customers in outlying areas.
And EE’s neat idea to float up balloons and 4G drones in rural areas means it has first refusal on the thousands of people looking for better mobile coverage in the countryside.
But this 4G mobile mast atop a windy hill in Wales, eight miles from the nearest town, represents a huge deal for O2.
At O2, we pride ourselves on listening to customers, but we also listen to communities who have yet to feel part of a digitally connected Britain. Ever since we heard Staylittle’s story in 2015, we’ve worked tirelessly to get its residents to this point – where they can make calls and access the internet and social media on the move just like most of the country.- Brendan O’Reilly: Chief Technology Officer, O2
When the mobile network went down two years ago, Staylittle locals had to go without, or resort to expensive, patchy satellite home internet to get online.
Local politicians have dubbed O2’s introduction of 4G “a huge, positive change for the village – a change that is guaranteed to improve the lives of those living in Staylittle”.
MAIN IMAGE: By William Franklin via Flickr