Culture Secretary Sajid Javid today (Thursday) announces a landmark deal with the four mobile networks to improve mobile coverage across the UK.
As part of its long-term economic plan, the Government has secured a binding agreement with the mobile networks EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to tackle poor signal issues in so-called ‘partial not-spots’.
These are areas within the UK that have coverage from some but not all of the four mobile networks. Depending on the network consumers are on, they may have no coverage in these areas.
- Consumers and businesses set to benefit from guaranteed £5bn investment into UK’s mobile infrastructure -
- 90 per cent UK geographic coverage from all four networks by 2017 -
- Tackling poor mobile coverage that currently blights more than a fifth of the UK -
“I welcome this agreement that has been made between the Government and the major mobile phone operators. I have been pushing hard for something to be done about the poor mobile phone reception that my constituents and others have had to put up with. Recently I handed to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport the Shropshire Star’s campaign petition, Get Us Connected, calling for action on this matter. I am delighted that the Government and industry have come together to improve the service to those across the country, especially those in rural areas. There is still more to do but this is good progress.”
EE CEO Olaf Swantee said:
“EE is focused on bringing the best voice and data service to its customers across the UK, and only last week announced 1,500 unconnected villages will soon benefit from EE coverage. This agreement ensures that our customers are able to stay connected in even more places up and down the country.”
Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer of O2, said:
“A partnership between government and the mobile operators is required to maximise coverage across the UK, so this agreement is a good outcome for our customers. It will support investment in our network, while ensuring that strong competition remains between the different networks.”
Dave Dyson, Chief Executive of Three, said:
“We’ve doubled the size of our network in the past five years and we continue to invest to maintain a great network experience for our customers. Today’s agreement reflects the strength of our network today, our plans for the future and our commitment to bring its benefits to more people and more places than ever before.”
A Vodafone UK spokesperson said:
“We support the Government’s objective of delivering better coverage to rural areas including partial not spots. This is why Vodafone is already spending £1 billion on our network and services in the UK this year alone and will continue to spend a similar amount next year as well.
“The voluntary industry commitment we have agreed with the Government today will deliver 90 per cent of the UK’s land mass with voice services and a major improvement in mobile internet coverage as well. It is a great result for UK consumers and businesses and it will make the UK a leader across Europe in terms of the reach of mobile coverage.”
Mobile networks will now take forward their plans to improve mobile coverage and Ofcom will monitor progress regularly. The Secretary of State expects the operators to meet an interim goal in 2016, and will be receiving updates on this.
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