Wales

Plans to improve phone signal for north Wales 'a flop', says AM

Mobile phone masts Image copyright Getty Images

Plans to improve mobile phone signal in north Wales are an "expensive flop", a Plaid Cymru AM has claimed.

The UK government's £150m Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) was set up to provide mobile coverage to 60,000 homes and businesses across the UK.

But North Wales AM Llyr Huws Gruffyd said none of the 27 masts planned for north Wales had been built.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) said it was committed to providing better mobile coverage.

Image caption This map shows which areas were being given priority by communications infrastructure company Arqiva - which is running the project

It said it had faced "particularly difficult technical challenges" in Wales, including the high degree of mountainous and sensitive landscapes and the low number of homes in mobile black spot areas.

A spokesman said: "We understand this will be disappointing news for the local community. We're committed to making sure there's better mobile coverage across the UK, and that people in rural areas are not left behind".

In 2013, the DCMS published details of its plan to improve coverage in areas where it may not be cost-effective for mobile operators to do so.

It included proposals to buy the right to erect masts and pay for the infrastructure. It also included a map showing which areas were being given priority by communications infrastructure company Arqiva, running the project.

Image copyright National Assembly for Wales
Image caption Map showing sites originally proposed in Wales under the UK Government’s Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP)

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