THE BEST and worst hotspots for mobile phone coverage along Scotland’s North Coast 500 have been revealed.
Stretching 516 miles, the road trip covers the north-east coast of the country and has been affectionately dubbed Scotland’s Route 66.
Families have been using it as an opportunity to explore the country and many have planned to take a drive along the scenic route this Easter weekend.
But tourists are advised to make sure they plan and prepare properly for their trip before leaving after a study has highlighted the best and worst areas of 4G coverage.
A team from FarrPoint, a digital connectivity consultancy, created a map outlining the level of 4G coverage offered by UK mobile network operators along the North Coast 500.
These networks include EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
The map revealed that more than 34 miles of road are without 4G coverage from any provider.
Furthermore, more than a quarter of the route is only covered by one or two of the four mobile providers.
Areas with little or no coverage include Inverewe Garden and Estate, Applecross Peninsula, Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, and stunning Clachtoll Beach.
And the road along the shoreline of Loch Eriboll, Britain’s deepest sea loch, was found to be the worst area for mobile coverage along the route, with more than 18 miles of continuous road without any signal.
This will leave travelers with real connectivity issues when trying to access mobile data and make calls and texts.
Despite its undeniable beauty and fantastic scenery, drivers can quickly have trouble navigating the winding country roads, especially if they veer off the main road to visit nearby businesses or beautiful spots.
FarrPoint is encouraging drivers to consider downloading digital maps before embarking on the epic road trip so they can access them in off-peak areas, as well as check the level of coverage offered by specific mobile operators.
Their reports also show that EE was found to offer the best coverage with 89 percent of the route accessing their network.
It is closely followed by O2, which covers 77 percent, and Vodafone with 76 percent.
Three came last and only provided coverage for 51 percent of the route, leaving more than 252 miles without 4G coverage.
Andrew Muir, CEO of FarrPoint, said: “With breathtaking scenery and views, the North Coast 500 provides the setting for one of the world’s greatest road trips right here in Scotland.
“But without proper preparation, the journey could become difficult in parts given the remote nature of the surrounding area and limited connectivity along the route.
“With over 34 route miles without 4G coverage from any carrier, and hundreds of highway miles only covered by certain carriers, people will undoubtedly experience connectivity issues during their journey.
“This may appeal to some travelers looking to take a break from their digital devices, but it could also cause problems if drivers get lost or in trouble.
“To help provide further peace of mind, we recommend that drivers check their mobile connectivity and download maps of the areas before setting off to ensure they don’t get lost in this remote, yet undeniably beautiful, part of northern Scotland.”
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