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Mobile UK welcomes the Government’s Digital Strategy

The Government’s Digital Strategy, published on 1st March 2017, is a positive statement that acknowledges mobile infrastructure as critical to the UK’s economy, and the mobile operators’ role in underpinning a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone.

The mobile industry is spending £2 billion a year to improve its networks and coverage. Ofcom’s 2016 Connected Nation’s report shows that 99% of UK premises now have indoor voice coverage. The report also acknowledges that 4G coverage has increased substantially over the past year and further investment is expected to cover 98% of UK premises by the end of 2017.

However, to improve on these impressive results further it is important that reforms and regulation keep pace with technological change. Changes to planning laws in England have been welcome but this must be replicated throughout the UK. The mobile industry is actively working with the Government to ensure that the Digital Economy Bill, and the Electronic Communications Code included within it, recognise the unique needs of mobile companies.

Hamish Macleod, Director of Mobile UK, said:

“The Government’s Digital Strategy rightly acknowledges the mobile industry’s significant investment in improving mobile coverage and rapid increases in 4G over the last year. Mobile connectivity is vital to achieve the Government’s stated aim of making the UK a leading Digital economy.”

“Mobile UK and the industry stand ready to assist the Government in going further. However, it is important to ensure that reforms to mobile planning laws, access to public assets, and the Electronic Communications Code, while very welcome, continue to evolve with technological progress and do not act as barriers to further progress.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Mobile UK is the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators -  EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
  2. The Government’s Digital Strategy, published on 1st March 2017, can be found here.
  3. Ofcom’s Connected Nations report can be found here.

Media Contacts

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

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