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Hard-wire mobile connectivity into local and national strategies to bring business benefits

Businesses across the country want to maximise the benefits of mobile connectivity, as highlighted by the British Chambers of Commerce’s (BCC) recent survey. To meet this demand the mobile industry is part way through an ambitious investment programme to increase capacity and extend coverage across the country.

That’s why both OpenSignal and Ofcom have reported significant increases in 4G availability over the last 12 months, and by the end of this year a 4G signal will be available to 98% of premises by at least one operator. This puts the United Kingdom ahead of economic competitors such as France and Germany.

UK mobile users benefit significantly from the competitive market. Furthermore, Ofcom has recently stated that customer satisfaction levels across the industry stand at 92%. It is important that in areas where it is more difficult to get a signal that businesses, local authorities and operators work in partnership to ensure that local plans and growth strategies at all levels support mobile infrastructure deployment and enable a more efficient and rapid planning process.

Mobile deployment can also be assisted by businesses themselves providing access to buildings where operators can install mobile infrastructure at a fair and reasonable cost to extend coverage and capacity further.

Mobile UK welcomes the opportunity to work with the BCC and its members to continuing reform of the planning system and ensure that mobile infrastructure is considered upfront as part of local and national strategic thinking. Through working in partnership we can together enable fast and effective roll-out of mobile equipment that will give businesses the coverage they require.

Hamish MacLeod, Director of Mobile UK, said:

Mobile UK recognises that good quality mobile signal is vital for businesses, as well as consumers. That is why the operators are currently spending around £2 billion pounds each year to extend mobile coverage and capacity. The 92% customer satisfaction recently published by Ofcom bears out the impact of this investment.

However, to help us go further, we call on the British Chambers of Commerce to support us in ensuring that operators can get access to sites they need for mobile equipment, that all planning policy reflects the economic and social importance of mobile connectivity, and that planning regulation promotes the efficient roll-out of mobile infrastructure across the UK.

Notes to Editors

  1. Mobile UK is the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators -  EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
  2. 92% Customer satsifaction levels are reported by Ofcom, Comparing Service Quality, 2016. Click here.
  3. The British Chambers of Commerce Digital Survey can be found here.

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications, 07887 911 076

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