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September 09, 2014

Britain’s National Parks to get a Signal Boost

Anybody roaming Britain’s national parks with a smartphone could soon feel the benefit of better coverage, after the four biggest network operators in the UK agreed to tackle the countryside’s “notspots” – areas where it’s impossible to get a mobile signal.

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone are working with National Parks England to create “sensitively designed and sensitively located” new masts that will improve coverage in the parks’ mobile blind spots. Under a new agreement, operators will share masts and sites to limit the environmental impact of any new developments while ensuring better signals for all.

“There are compelling social and economic reasons for having good mobile connectivity, including mobile broadband, in rural areas... because such connectivity mitigates the disadvantages of greater physical distances and poor transport links,” said John Cooke, executive director of the Mobile Operators Association.

Mountain Rescue England and Wales has welcomed the move, but cautioned ramblers to always carry a map and compass instead of relying on their smartphones to get them out of a jam.