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£5 billion of investment to improve mobile coverage
Thursday 18 December 2014 18:11:33 by Andrew Ferguson

The four large mobile operators are set between them to invest some £5 billion to tackle poor signal issues across the UK. The Government has managed to get an agreement in place that will be enforced by Ofcom that should see voice and SMS coverage of the UK increase to 90% of the UK geographic area by 2017 and full coverage from all four operators will be increased to 85% from the current 69%.

"We support the Government’s objective of delivering better coverage to rural areas including partial not spots. This is why Vodafone is already spending £1 billion on our network and services in the UK this year alone and will continue to spend a similar amount next year as well.

The voluntary industry commitment we have agreed with the Government today will deliver 90 per cent of the UK’s land mass with voice services and a major improvement in mobile internet coverage as well. It is a great result for UK consumers and businesses and it will make the UK a leader across Europe in terms of the reach of mobile coverage.

Vodafone UK spokesperson

The Vodafone comment suggests that maybe this £5 billion is not new all money, but may include investment already underway, e.g. improving 4G coverage will help a good number of areas. The spending by the operators also is a stark contrast to the £150m from the Government that is the Mobile Infrastructure Programme.

No guarantee appears to have been given on the provision of data access and with people increasingly relying on constant connectivity ensuring data coverage of at least the UK road network would go a long way to resolving many complaints. An important point is that the coverage is referring to land area rather than households or postcodes.


Posted by otester about 1 year ago
Looks like I'll probably get 4G before FTTC at this rate, looks as though BT are skipping my cabinet :(
Posted by Fellwalker about 1 year ago
Is that coverage according to their coverage maps, or real honest to goodness on the ground coverage?

It makes a huge difference. All of the mobile operators claim coverage at my home. Only O2 actually provides it, but their coverage checker tells me I should also get good 3G inside and out - whereas I get no 3G.
Posted by generallee94 about 1 year ago
Well O2's coverage checker and service status pages are inaccurate around 90% of the time anyway!
Posted by leexgx about 1 year ago
i like as they say "4G will help in a good number of areas" it be helpful if Vodafone Bothered with 3G first (in areas with less then 5K pop count) then at least the calls will work all the time, the 4G will be for High pop count areas
Posted by michaels_perry about 1 year ago
Not-spots need to be resolved but so do the many very poor spots where coverage is almost, but not quite, absent. In Trowbridge some areas have reasonable signals but others have none or almost none to the point it is unusable. At my house we can only get 1 bar upstairs and none anywhere else!
Posted by HowardB about 1 year ago
4G is the way to go! I did a comparison a couple of hours ago. 4G (EE) 21.83 down, 8.5 up. Landline 2.37 down, 0.6 up. Openreach say we MAY get fibre September '15.
Posted by brusuth about 1 year ago
Seeing all the networks are pushing for VOLTE launch this year I doubt the 90% will be done with any other technology than 4G. The 90% is land mass not just population.. So will increase the UK coverage quite a bit!
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