MIP – ‘Mobile Infrastructure Project’ aims to improve the coverage and quality of mobile network services for consumers and businesses where existing mobile network coverage is poor or non-existent.
The £150m contract award has been granted to Arqiva who own masts around the country and rents space on them to broadcasters and mobile network operators.
MIPs big challenge is to extend coverage to at least 98% of the UK population. Whilst it remains unclear what percentage of the Welsh population will be covered, the north to south A470 trunk route has been earmarked for deployment for sometime.
MIP is being run by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) who are the same UK Government unit behind ‘Next Generation Broadband in Wales’, and the ‘Super Connected Cities’ programme which has been awarded to Cardiff and Newport respectfully.
As with ‘Next Generation Broadband in Wales’ the MIP project was originally set to complete by 2015, although this could run into 2017. Both projects hope to help connect local communities, create local jobs and contribute to national growth.
With consumers and businesses increasingly using mobile broadband services, MIP has a real opportunity to deliver a positive impact on the lives and economic prospects of those in the heart rural Wales.