UK govt signs deal to tackle mobile ‘not-spots’

<p>The government has signed an agreement with the four major mobile networks to tackle poor coverage across the UK.</p>

The UK government is taking on poor mobile coverage across the nation with a new landmark deal.

Culture secretary Sajid Javid has today (December 18th) unveiled a £5 billion investment programme to reduce the amount of mobile 'partial not-spots' in the UK. Teaming up with the four major mobile networks, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, the government is aiming to significantly improve mobile connectivity in all areas of the country.

Partial not-spots are part of the UK which have coverage from some but not all four of the mobile networks. Depending on which provider a customer is on they may not be able to make calls or text and this is something the government wants to improve.

The £5 billion investment will help to significantly upgrade mobile infrastructure by 2017 while also guaranteeing voice and text coverage from each operator across 90 per cent of the British Isles in the same timeframe. Full coverage for the four operators will increase from 69 per cent to 85 per cent in the next three years.

Mr Javid added that the government wants to provide more reliable signal strength for voice calls on each type of mobile service whether it be 2G, 3G or 4G. The deal will also be legally binding and enforceable by Ofcom.

The culture secretary said: "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.

"The £5 billion investment from the mobile networks in the UK’s infrastructure will help drive this government’s long-term economic plan."

All four mobile operators are supportive of the government plans with EE, which is currently the subject of a potential takeover bid from BT, stating that the agreement will help to ensure its customers "stay connected in even more places up and down the country".

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