O2, Three and Vodafone are joining forces to build 222 mobile masts to boost rural 4G coverage for customers of all three networks.
124 of the new sites will be built in Scotland, 33 in Wales, 11 in Northern Ireland, and 54 in England, with each operator responsible for rolling out 74 of the new sites.
Work is scheduled to start this year and is due to be completed by 2024.
Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said: “I’m delighted to see major progress being made to banish ‘not spots’ of poor or patchy mobile coverage.
“This new infrastructure will unlock the potential of rural communities in all four nations and offer greater choice of fast and reliable 4G services.
“As part of this new Shared Rural Network the government is also investing half a billion pounds on new masts in areas without any signal at all meaning no one is left behind.”
Mark Evans, CEO of O2, said: “The Shared Rural Network is a new and more collaborative way of delivering greater investment in infrastructure to improve mobile digital connectivity – a high impact enabler of economic growth.
“I am delighted that O2 is working in partnership with other mobile operators to deliver the Shared Rural Network, which will support individuals, businesses and communities across rural Britain.”
Robert Finnegan, CEO of Three UK, said: “Mobile connectivity is absolutely critical for communities around the UK helping to support local economies and keeping people connected with their friends and family.
“The Shared Rural Network will have a transformative effect on coverage across the UK and it is great to be working with the rest of the industry to achieve this.”
Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, said: “We know connectivity is vital and the only way to fill the holes in the UK’s mobile coverage is to work together.
“Our unique collaboration with O2 and Three will deliver 222 new sites in parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that need better connectivity.
“Delivering the Shared Rural Network will make a huge difference to communities across the UK.”