The UK government has announced a new agreement with leading MNOs to improve mobile coverage across the country. £5 billion pounds has been committed by MNOs to improve their coverage, mainly in rural areas. A target of 90 per cent coverage by 2017 has been set, with the regulator Ofcom charged with overseeing the change.
The likes of Orange, Telefonica, Vodafone and Three have all committed to the investment, in large part, because the deal took off the table the possibility of government legislation that would have forced the operators to share their networks as a means of improving coverage.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said:
"I am pleased to have secured a legally binding deal with the four mobile networks. Government and businesses have been clear about the importance of mobile connectivity, and improved coverage, so this legally binding agreement will give the UK the world-class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves."
A Vodafone spokesman also added:
"The voluntary industry commitment we have agreed with the government today will deliver 90% of the UK's land mass with voice services and a major improvement in mobile internet coverage as well."
The first goal of the project will be to improve text and voice coverage across the UK primarily, but hopefully internet coverage will see a boon too. It's an encouraging agreement and move, as mobile internet coverage will need to be ubiquitous, reliable and fast for mobile banking, payments and adoption to really take off and dominate.
By Matthew Taylor 19th December 2014
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