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Ground-breaking mobile mapping project launched to identify ‘mobile not-spots’ in Mid Wales

GROWING Mid Wales (GMW) has initiated an innovative mobile mapping project to enhance digital infrastructure in Mid Wales. This project, one of the first of its kind in Wales, aims to identify areas with poor mobile coverage and network capacity, known as ‘mobile not-spots.’ By employing advanced mobile data-capturing devices installed in waste collection vehicles across Powys and Ceredigion, the project will gather crucial data for improving mobile and 4G internet connectivity.

Waste collection vehicles will continue their regular routes, leveraging their comprehensive network to ensure thorough data collection without additional logistical costs. This cost-effective approach provides an efficient solution for mapping mobile coverage across the region.

The primary goal of the mobile mapping project is to create an accurate and detailed map of mobile coverage in Mid Wales, identifying areas with inadequate mobile coverage and network capacity issues that affect usability for residents and businesses. Data from the four main Mobile Network Operators – EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone – will be collected. GMW will use this data to develop targeted projects and interventions to address connectivity challenges in key areas.

Driving this project forward for Growing Mid Wales is the Mid Wales Growth Deal Digital Programme. The Mid Wales Growth Deal is a long-term investment with a combined commitment of £110m from UK and Welsh Governments to catalyse economic recovery and growth across the region.

Supported by local authorities in Powys and Ceredigion and funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund from the UK Government, the project will also produce a coverage checker tool. This free tool, to be launched on the Growing Mid Wales website later this summer, will allow residents and stakeholders to check mobile coverage in their areas and determine the most suitable mobile providers for their needs, enhancing digital transparency in Mid Wales.

GMW is collaborating with mobile network analysts Streetwave, chosen for their groundbreaking and cost-effective approach, crucial to the project’s success and impact.

The GMW team emphasised its importance for regional development and the commitment to improving digital connectivity for residents and businesses, “We are thrilled to launch this groundbreaking project in Mid Wales. Identifying and addressing ‘mobile not-spots’ and areas of poor network capacity is crucial for the region’s development.”

“This initiative aligns with GMW’s overarching goals, supporting decision-making for digital infrastructure deployments, regional economic development, and innovation. Having better information about coverage will increase our ability to work with commercial providers to address genuine not-spots and problem areas in coverage. In turn, this will help us pinpoint the areas where public intervention may be required to accelerate and/or enable deployment to ensure we have safe, reliable coverage across the region.”

Updates on the project’s progress will be shared regularly, and interested parties can sign up for the GMW newsletter for more information, [email protected].