Getting a 4G signal through the airwaves in the remoter part of Scotland can be a challenge.  

But now residents on one island will be seeing more bars on their phones after a new signal mast was delivered – by air.  

Helicopters have been used to bring a 4G tower to the island of Islay as a rollout of tech through the Shared Rural Network programme to support better coverage across remote continues.  

Six new masts are being built across the island, with the first now in place thanks to the sky-high delivery. 

Virgin Media O2 plans to install more than 60 sites across Argyll and Bute to boost 4G coverage across the region by 25 per cent.  

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The new upgrades will provide residents, businesses and visitors to the area with faster and more reliable mobile connectivity while also offering them a greater choice of provider. 

Jenni Minto, the MSP for Argyll and Bute, and Councillor Liz McCabe, Policy Lead for Islands and Business Development at Argyll and Bute Council, have both welcomed Virgin Media O2’s investment. 

The Herald:

Ms Minto said: “For too long, many rural areas like this one have been at a disadvantage when it comes to connectivity. 

“It is fantastic to see how the company is bringing mobile coverage to the beautiful island of Islay, which will have a positive impact for the businesses, residents, and visitors to the area. 

“I believe that Virgin Media O2 is really setting an example of how to properly invest in rural networks.” 

 Councillor McCabe added: “Argyll and Bute has languished behind other areas due to our geography and logistical challenges, including 22 inhabited islands.  

“However, over the last number of years significant investment has been made and we have seen major coverage improvements. The Shared Rural Network programme will enhance this further with multiple operator coverage improvements to many parts of our remote rural areas.” 

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Paul Kells, Director of Network, Strategy and Engineering at Virgin Media O2, said: “The industry’s Shared Rural Network initiative is making a real, tangible difference to people’s lives.  

“At Virgin Media O2, we are committed to playing our part in bringing reliable 4G coverage to rural locations all over Britain to help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban communities. 

“Many rural parts of Scotland are already benefiting from our rollout of new and upgraded masts, and nowhere will benefit more from our investment than the Argyll and Bute area, where we are working to upgrade more than 60 sites as part of our commitment to the Shared Rural Network programme.”