Virgin Media O2 has said it will use Starlink satellites to provide network connectivity in remote rural areas of the UK.

The UK telco said in an announcement that it will use Starlink's Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to provide mobile backhaul for some of the country’s most remote locations to accelerate its Shared Rural Network (SRN) rollout.

SpaceX Starlink Base station.jpeg
– u/darkpenguin22 via Reddit

Starlink, which is a subsidiary of Elon Musk's SpaceX, operates around 5,000 satellites globally and has partnered with a number of carriers worldwide, including T-Mobile in the US.

The company has already deployed its Starlink mobile backhaul to some of its most remote sites in the Scottish Highlands.

Starlink's technology will help carry phone calls, SMS, and data to mobile masts where fiber cables, which are usually required for mobile networks to run, are too challenging to install.

Virgin Media O2 said that it has carried out trials in northern Scotland with Starlink to test mobile traffic.

“We’re leaving no stone unturned when it comes to improving rural connectivity and are continuously looking for new ways to boost signal in remote areas," said Jeanie York, chief technology officer at Virgin Media O2.

"Our commitment to delivering on our part of the Shared Rural Network program has seen us turn first to helicopters and now to satellites to connect some of the most difficult and remote parts of the country. By constantly finding new ways to deliver for our customers, we are bringing reliable mobile coverage to rural communities faster and helping to close the UK’s digital divide.”

In February, Virgin Media O2 delivered its 100th site as part of the SRN, when it delivered the 4G masts by helicopter to the Isle of Skye.

The SRN is aimed at supporting some of the UK's most remote areas and is supported by the mobile industry and government to increase all operators’ 4G coverage to 90 percent of UK landmass and their aggregate coverage to 95 percent by 2027.

It's a £1 billion ($1.27bn) partnership between the four carriers and the UK government to deliver more reliable connectivity to the country's most remote locations.

Virgin and Starlink conducted a connectivity trial at a lighthouse in Wales last year.