To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent steps he has taken to improve mobile telephone coverage in rural areas.
17 June 2015
The Government secured a landmark agreement with mobile network operators (MNOs) in December 2014 that locks in £5 billion investment from the MNOs to deliver improved mobile coverage across the UK. The coverage obligation has since been made legally binding on MNOs by a licence variation and will guarantee voice and SMS text coverage for 90% of the UK landmass from each MNO by 2017. As a result complete not-spots, where there is no mobile signal from any operator, will be cut by nearly two thirds. Additionally, Telefonica has a licence obligation to provide 4G coverage to 98% of UK premises by 2017.
Through the Mobile Infrastructure Project, the Government is extending mobile coverage to the 0.3-0.4% of UK premises who currently have none. Work is underway in the constituency of South Suffolk to identify whether masts could be sited near Assington Green, Bildeston and Boxford.