The UK’s major mobile networks have reached an agreement with the government to boost coverage across the country.
EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three have all signed up to a legally binding agreement to get UK mobile coverage up to 90 percent by 2017, according to a government statement.
The plan is designed to reach the UK’s many “partial not-spots,” largely in rural areas where only some of the four major networks can reach.
Currently, it’s claimed, individual UK networks only reach 69 percent of the UK. This agreement will see each boosted to 85 percent.
If successful, it will effectively halve the areas of the UK affected by patchy coverage.
This plan will involve a £5 billion investment from the four networks. While there will be no cash contributions from the government itself, it is making many of its freehold buildings available to be used for mobile infrastructure. This could open up hundreds of new sites for hosting mobile coverage-boosting technology.
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Each network’s license conditions have apparently been amended to make this agreement legally binding, and it will be enforced by Ofcom.
“I am pleased to have secured a legally binding deal with the four mobile networks,” said culture secretary Sajid Javid. “Too many parts of the UK regularly suffer from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts.”