October 26, 2016

Mobile UK's response to the British Infrastructure Group's report on mobile coverage in the UK

Mobile UK’s responds to the British Infrastructure Group’s report on mobile coverage in the UK

• Mobile operators fully accepts the report’s underlying point - that customers wantimprovements in mobile coverage, capacity and capability, to sustain their ever increasinguse of mobile devices. The UK’s mobile network operators’ have invested and will continueto invest, many billions of pounds in their networks to meet this demand.

• In the immediate future, the mobile operators are working competitively to meet thecommitment of 90% geographic voice coverage by the end of 2017 and thus meet their newlicence condition (which will also increase substantially 4G data coverage)

.• The Government is delivering on its commitment to reform planning law in England and theElectronic Communications Code, measures that will make it more straightforward andviable to invest in the expansion of network coverage. These delayed reforms will nowprovided limited benefit in terms of the 2017 target but will be vital for continuing networkdevelopment thereafter.

• The mobile market in the UK is highly competitive; Ofcom’s annual market reports regularlydemonstrate that UK customers get among the best prices in the developed world.Consumers get a very good deal from our competitive market but it remains essential thatthe UK has the right incentives in place to promote continuing investment in networkcoverage, as we move towards 5G and the mobile ‘internet of things’.

• For this reason, Mobile UK does not support the use of ‘national roaming’; it is not onlytechnically difficult to do in a localised way, can deliver a poor customer experience andincreases operational costs, but also is a significant disincentive to competitive networkinvestment*.

(*i.e. avoid a situation whereby it is better to hang back from investing in unprofitable coverage (andmost remote sites are unprofitable) and pay a competitor on a ‘per use basis’. If all hang back,network expansion is impaired)

Contact: Hamish MacLeod,

About Building Mobile Britain

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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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