July 23, 2019

Mobile Networks welcome opportunity to work with Government to significantly boost rural coverage

UK's four mobile operators' logos

The UK’s four mobile networks are working in partnership with the Government on plans that could significantly improve 4G coverage in rural areas.

Key to this initiative is a landmark proposal, which is currently under discussion between all four mobile network operators, for industry to come together to allow access to each other’s masts on a reciprocal basis as part of a joint rural investment programme. These plans aim to eliminate most of the UK’s partial not spots while also increasing coverage in total not spot areas where there is currently no coverage from any single operators.

This proposal is based on a partnership with government, including reform of the planning system, to assist with the construction of new masts in areas where there is no service from any operator, as well as the removal of Ofcom’s proposed coverage obligations attached to 700 MHz 5G spectrum licences.

A Letter of Intent, is currently being reviewed by all four mobile network operators, with a view to being given to the Secretary of State for consideration

Commenting on the Government’s statement on the Shared Rural Network, Hamish MacLeod, Director at Mobile UK said:

"All four mobile operators have come together to partner with Government on a proposal for a shared rural network that aims to improve 4G coverage in the most rural areas and areas with limited coverage.”

“This proposal is based on joint working between the industry and the Government and will include a major programme of shared infrastructure that will ensure communities in harder to reach areas can use their smartphones where they live, work and travel.”

Notes to editors

  1. Mobile UK is the trade body for the UK’s four mobile operators (EE, Three, Vodafone and O2).
  2. The Shared Rural Network is a proposal that has been developed by all four mobile operators and involves partnership with the Government and Ofcom.

About Building Mobile Britain

Building Mobile Britain logo

Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

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