UK government targets 90% mobile coverage by 2017 with operator deal

The UK government has struck an agreement with the country’s four mobile operators designed to raise network coverage to 90% by 2017.

The move will see £5 billion invested in mobile infrastructure over the next two years, in order to address poor coverage in more than a fifth of the country.

It aims for EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to increase full coverage of their networks from 69% to 85% by 2017.

“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 £5bn investment from the mobile networks in the UK’s infrastructure will help drive this Government’s long-term economic plan”, commented UK culture secretary Sajid Javid.

The government has stated that no cash payments will be made to the mobile networks as part of the agreement, although has accepted amended licence conditions to reflect the agreement.

The legally binding deal is enforceable by Ofcom, which will report on whether the operators are meeting an interim goal in 2016.

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