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Smart phone users in Perth, Kinross and Stirling will be able to access superfast mobile data in time for The Ryder Cup thanks to a permanent 4G upgrade to the rural mobile phone network.
Telefónica UK, the telecommunications network operator with the commercial brand O2, will permanently upgrade and install masts in Perth, Kinross, Stirling and Auchterarder during August.
Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Sport was able to confirm the arrangements following talks between the Scottish Government and Telefónica to provide enhanced coverage for the event. Ms Robison said:
“Visitors enjoying major events or exploring Scotland’s beautiful scenery expect to be able to make the most of technology. Working alongside companies like Telefónica, Scotland is on a journey to becoming a world-leading digital nation by 2020. The introduction of 4G to the Perthshire countryside ahead of The Ryder Cup, enhances the visitor experience and creates a lasting legacy for local people and businesses in this rural area.”
“Mobile is critical to the Scottish Government’s world-class vision for a digital Scotland. We are working to encourage investment in mobile networks and have amended planning legislation to make it easier for operators to deploy telecoms infrastructure.”
Adrian Di Meo, CTO for Telefónica UK said “We’re pleased that our network investment will bring high speed mobile technology for the local residents and businesses connected to O2. In addition to switching on our 4G service, we’re the first UK mobile operator to upgrade our existing masts in Perth and Kinross to ensure we give a great experience for all our customers.”
Edward Kitson, Ryder Cup Match Director said: “We are gearing up for what we expect to be the biggest and best Ryder Cup to date and with the rise of the use of smartphones, social media and mobile internet, we want technology to form a key part of The Ryder Cup experience. We are therefore delighted with the news of the 4G upgrade to Gleneagles and the surrounding area. We hope these improvements will help make it an even more special occasion for those attending.”
By upgrading existing masts in the Perth and Kinross area to 4G, high speed mobile is being opened to the 147,000 residents and businesses who live, work and travel within the area.
Cllr John Kellas, Convenor of Perth & Kinross Council’s Enterprise and Infrastructure Committee, said, “I’m delighted that Auchterarder and the surrounding area will see a permanent improvement in mobile phone coverage as a result of these works being put in place for The Ryder Cup. Mobile coverage is increasingly important for local businesses, and this improvement means that Perth and Kinross – already so well connected in terms of transport and geography – will be equally well connected with high speed mobile coverage.”
With around 45,000 spectators expected during match days of The 2014 Ryder Cup, the company is also introducing temporary masts to boost coverage and capacity in key locations, such as Gleneagles.
4G service will also be available to Vodafone subscribers. 4G mobile is already available for visitors travelling to Gleneagles from the West of Scotland via Stirling.
EE and Orange are yet to confirm their 4G service in Perth and Kinross, we are waiting for a comment.