RURAL areas in Scotland are now receiving record levels of 4G coverage due to a boost in the number of new masts in recent years.

EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator, has revealed that it has switched on 2300 4G sites across the country since 2012, providing coverage to areas that previously had none.

58 of the 4G sites have been switched on in Argyll and Bute since 2017, while a further 80 are planned.

As a result of the new masts, 69% of Scotland’s rural areas are receiving a 4G service from EE.

The improved coverage also allows people in areas with slow home broadband speeds to receive home broadband via a 4G home router, which can give average speeds of more than 30Mbps – faster than many standard broadband connections.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division, said: “In the last few years, our investment across Scotland has resulted in a huge increase in rural mobile coverage.

“These new 4G mast sites have brought coverage to parts of the country that were previously unconnected. People living in and visiting rural parts of Scotland are now increasingly able to access this essential part of modern life.

“But there are still major challenges to building masts in very rural areas. The UK Government’s Shared Rural Network plans should help us reach some of these final not spots. As part of that, we will share the benefits of EE’s investment in Scotland with other operators, and ensure that everyone benefits from improved coverage and choice. This is a real issue in Scotland.”

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: “Many people in Scotland’s most hard-to-reach areas will by now be able to benefit from dependable and fast mobile speeds for the first time and this investment also benefits the many tourists and business travellers coming to Scotland, too.”