I am quite sure that just about all of us have experienced this before – you walk into a building, and have pretty decent network coverage on your smartphone, only to discover later on that in certain areas of the building, the network coverage magically drops to zero. Zilch. Nada. That can prove to be rather frustrating at times, especially if you tend to walk around during a conversation. Is there a way to remedy such a situation? Well, the UK government has arrived at an agreement with local operators to solve these network coverage woes, where the likes of EE, O2, Three and Vodafone will invest a whopping minimum figure of £5 billion in order to improve mobile infrastructure by 2017. The end result? To provide 90% of the UK with voice as well as text coverage.
Apart from that, the companies will also increase full coverage from 69% all the way to 85% of geographic areas in three years’ time. It must be said that the UK government noted that no cash payments will be made by the government to mobile networks, which means it will all be privately funded as per the binding agreement.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid shared on this announcement, “I am pleased to have secured a legally binding deal with the four mobile networks. Too many parts of the UK regularly suffer from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts. 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.” [Press Release]