Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil has received a positive response from two of the main mobile companies regarding their plans to improve mobile communications in the Hebrides.

In April, Mr MacNeil wrote to the main mobile network companies to seek clarification about their plans for improving mobile and data communications in the islands over the next two years.

This followed Mr MacNeil’s sustained campaign to ensure improved mobile communication and a concession from the Department of Culture Media and Sport, that the islands should see some of the greatest improvements in mobile coverage of any area in the UK in the next two years.

Angus MacNeil MP said:

“We are all very aware that mobile telephones are no longer a luxury.  In the islands we have we have been left behind badly by the UK government’s approach to mobile coverage.”

“However, I am heartened by the positive responses I have received to date, from mobile operators.

“I have received confirmation from Telefonica UK/02 that they plan to upgrade 16 existing masts and provide 13 new masts, all of which will be completed by 2017.

“Mobile operators EE tell me that they will be investing heavily in the network, swapping the old 2G kit and replacing with new hardware and adding 4G in areas where 2G is currently.

“2G and 3G coverage has failed miserably in the Western Isles and I have and will continue to maintain pressure on the UK Government on the issue of the badly needed 4G coverage in our islands.