Operators finalise improved mobile coverage deal

Four of the UK’s major mobile networks have finalised the details of a deal to significantly improve signal issues and reduce “partial not-spots”.

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have agreed to a legally binding landmark deal to improve coverage across the UK, targeting in particular “partial not-spots” where, depending which network consumers are on, people cannot access suitable mobile coverage.

Ofcom will be awarded the power to enforce the terms of the deal and ensure the signal strength is consistently high for consumers across the whole area that operators service.

The deal is aiming to secure better coverage across the UK but the government feels that Wales will particularly benefit from the deal.

Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns said, “Wales has put up with poor mobile coverage for far too long – I welcome the news that the UK’s mobile phone operators are working together to get rid of these not-spots”.

The four companies have pledged a £5 billion investment by 2017, guaranteed voice and text coverage from each of the four operators by 2017, pledged to cut “partial not-spots” in half and increase full coverage from a current 69% to 85% by 2017.

Commenting on the deal, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said, “for far too long, too many parts of the UK have regularly suffered from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts.

Now at last we have progress that will give the UK the world-class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves.”

Mobile networks will now take forward their plans to improve mobile coverage and Ofcom will monitor progress regularly with the first interim goal set for 2016.

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