For any country, securing the best digital connectivity is an essential part of creating a successful economy. Our experts work with industry and the wider public sector to drive innovation and change, ensuring the right mechanisms, partnerships and commercial approaches are developed to deliver a next-generation telecommunications infrastructure for Scotland.
Working with key partners, we’ve taken the lead to develop a roadmap to support Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy.
Building on this roadmap, our team’s focus is moving towards developing a programme to enhance infrastructure investment and its delivery in Scotland.
As part of this, we continue to work with stakeholders to strengthen the programme with a view to identifying the most commercially viable approaches that will make the greatest positive impact on Scotland’s economy and its competitiveness, and address the digital divide.
It's envisaged that wider engagement across the public sector and industry will be key to raising the profile of our work to ensure that it fully supports Scottish Government’s strategic objectives.
We continue to seek to influence the digital strategy at a UK Government and Ofcom level, along with the development of further pilot and pathfinder projects to demonstrate the impact of the different approaches being developed.
For example, on the Isle of Coll, working in partnership with numerous stakeholders, SFT developed an innovative and long-term solution to provide islanders with a state-of-the-art telecoms mast.
The Isle of Coll was the first Scottish island to have 4G mobile coverage which is now opening up many commercial opportunities for local businesses, such as that owned and run by Pete Mackay, that are taken for granted on the mainland.
Building on the success of the team’s work to bring 4G to the Isle of Coll, we've also supported the Home Office on its Emergency Services Network (ESN) programme where 4G mobile coverage will be used to replace the out-dated radio service.
As part of the ESN, the Home Office will install its own mast infrastructure to fill gaps between its suppliers’ commercial road coverage where our team has influenced the delivery approach.
The new mast design will be future-proofed to ensure other Mobile Network Operators (MNO) can use it with minimal additional investment to incentivise sharing across these rural locations.
Using the relationships, knowledge and skills we've acquired, our team has also started to develop a 4G infill programme for Scottish Government that will focus on deploying mast infrastructure into areas where there will be no coverage even after commercial MNO deployment has been completed.
More recently, we have led the development and establishment of the Scotland Innovation Partnership (SIP) across industry, universities and the public sector as well as a 5G Hub.
SIP and the further development of the 5G Hub provide the opportunity to trial new technologies and approaches, furthering coverage and connectivity and providing a testbed for the 5G world across Scotland, putting Scotland at the forefront of digital telecommunications.