The Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which aims to enable mobile services in rural areas where there is no commercial business case to deploy these services, has taken a step forward today. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced today that Arqiva, the communications infrastructure and media services company, has won the Government tender to deliver the project.
Up to 60,000 premises and sections of road will be covered using the £150 million funding allocated to the project.
MIP is a vital part of the Government’s policy to reinforce the UK’s position as a leading digital economy. It will help connect rural communities, create local jobs and contribute to the national growth. The project sits alongside other initiatives including the £530 million Rural Broadband project and the £150 million ‘super-connected cities’ programme.
Arqiva will be responsible for a full scale mobile network roll out. The scope includes network planning, site acquisition as well as the deployment of site infrastructure and installation of equipment. It is expected that an announcement will be made on which locations will benefit from improved mobile coverage in the summer.
Nicolas Ott, Managing Director of Government, Mobile and Enterprise of Arqiva 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.”
Ed Vaizey, Culture Minister said: “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.”