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News for Year 2012

Mobile infrastructure crucial for the delivery of broadband

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The UK mobile phone operators today welcomed announcements by the Chancellor aimed at delivering broadband infrastructure and the commitment to support Ofcom and successful bidders in the deployment of 4G mobile infrastructure.

 

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said; “In a country of 60 million people, there are nearly 82 million mobile subscriptions with mobile use at 92%. Mobile broadband is an increasingly important part of the country’s digital infrastructure. Four in ten people are already accessing the Internet using a mobile device, a proportion that’s rising all the time as smartphones become the norm, and as more and more people have tablet computers.”

 

“However, this national infrastructure is built and delivered locally and an efficient and effective planning system is crucial to the mobile operators’ ability to keep pace with Government ambition and customer demand. Complying with the current processes represents a significant resource commitment for operators and can be prohibitive in areas where the economic case for investment is already difficult to make.”

 

“Mobile operators support the Government’s previous commitment to work with mobile operators, local government and others to consider ways that the planning process might be streamlined to speed up the deployment of mobile infrastructure. 

 

“We urge government to ensure that these proposals become a reality and that the key contribution of mobile broadband to our national economy is recognised.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

 

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – EE (EE, Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.

 

For more information please contact Christine Jude 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

 

Follow us onTwitter: @UKmobileinfo or Facebook on: http://www.facebook.com/mobileoperatorsassociation

Website on: www.mobilemastinfo.com

 

 

 

Smartphone and tablet computer ownership is rocketing

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  Well over half (58 per cent) of the mobile phones in the UK are now smartphones, and one in five adults (20 per cent) now owns a tablet computer. Those are some of the results of new research carried out for the Mobile Operators Association (MOA) and carried out by YouGov.  

MOA Executive Director John Cooke said: “The speed with which people are adopting this new technology has been phenomenal. Comparing this latest data with previous research from Ofcom suggests that ownership of smartphones in the UK has increased by nearly 50 per cent and that of tablets by over 80 per cent in less than a year”.  

He added: “Even more important than the figures on ownership is the way these devices are changing consumer behaviour. People are increasingly choosing to use mobile devices to access the Internet, even when they have a fixed connection available. It’s not surprising that email and accessing social networking sites are the most popular activities for mobile broadband, but we are also looking at maps and finding directions, checking train and bus times, and shopping.  

The MOA/YouGov research involved 2,504 respondents and took place in September 2012. It shows that:  

•             58% of mobile phones are smartphones

•             20% of people own a tablet

•             11% of people have a ‘dongle’, modem stick or data card for mobile broadband usage

•             emailing (43%) and accessing social networks (40%) are the most popular activities for mobile phone users - people report being in contact with friends and family as the main benefit of mobile phones

•             over a third of us use mobiles to look at maps and find directions and nearly a third of us (28%) check bus, train or flight times this way

•             smartphones and tablets are affecting the way we shop. Ten per cent of people buy goods and services via a tablet, and 13 per cent do so using a mobile.

•             Around three-quarters of users recognise the link between masts and good mobile coverage, and say that having a good mobile signal is important to them personally.  

John added: “It’s important that the planning system supports the deployment of mobile infrastructure, particularly with the advent of 4G mobile services, because without that infrastructure, people won’t be able to use their mobile devices as they want to and as they are increasingly doing.”  

Notes to Editors:  

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – EE (the company that runs EE, Orange & T-Mobile in the UK), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.  

2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,504 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th and 11th September 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of UK adults (aged 18+). All respondents in the survey owned a mobile phone.

3. Ofcom data is from the Communications Market Report (CMR)(2012) http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/cmr/cmr12/CMR_UK_2012.pdf

4. For more information please contact Christine Jude 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

Follow us onTwitter: @UKmobileinfo or Facebook on: www.facebook.com/mobileoperatorsassociation

Website: www.mobilemastinfo.com

   

MOA Partners NextGen12

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The MOA is a Partner Organisation for the NextGen 12 Conference: Connectivity for the Digital Economy’ - the UK’s essential infrastructure needs, how they are being met and alternative approaches to achieving complete coverage’.

NextGen 12 takes place on 8/9 October at the Church House Conference Centre, Westminster, London SW1P 3NZ.

NextGen 12 is the UK's mostimportant broadband event for everyone interested in improving the UK's digital infrastructure to provide fit-for-purpose broadband for all. It is expected to include 400 delegates and speakers from the policy makers, network operators, manufacturers, service providers, analysts and local decision-makers. There will be a lively exhibition, ample opportunity for networking and a prestigious conference dinner and NextGen Challenge Awards ceremony at the Palace of Westminster.

John Cooke, MOA’s Executive Director, will be speaking on the role of mobile broadband at one of the conference breakout sessions.

To register for NextGen 12, go to:- http://www.regonline.co.uk/nextgen12conference

Further details about the conference can be found at the NextGen Website: http://www.nextgenevents.co.uk/events/nextgen-12

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Notes for Editors:

  1. For more information please contact Christine Jude 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it www.mobilemastinfo.com
  2. Follow us onTwitter: @UKmobileinfo or Facebook on: http://www.facebook.com/mobileoperatorsassociation
    Website on: www.mobilemastinfo.com
 

Mobile broadband: a strategic national asset

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31 July 2012

The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) has welcomed the recognition, in the House of Lords Communications Committee’s Report into Broadband, that ‘our communications network must be regarded as a strategic, national asset’.  

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said: “Mobile broadband is an increasingly important part of the country’s digital infrastructure. Four in ten people are already accessing the Internet using a mobile device, a proportion that’s rising all the time as smartphones become the norm, and as more and more people have tablet computers.”  

He added: “We agree with the Committee that a whole host of services will increasingly be delivered via the internet - including critical public services. The availability of 4G - bringing mobile superfast broadband on our phones at roughly equivalent speeds to those you would expect from your home broadband connection - will make that even more possible”

However, these services require infrastructure and the MOA has warned that planning delays are hindering the delivery of the Government’s broadband strategy. John Cooke said “We’re asking MPs, local authorities and other stakeholders to show their support for the bringing the benefits of mobile communications to as many people as possible by signing up to a series of statements including a commitment to approving appropriate applications for necessary new mobile phone masts.”

....................................................ends.................................

Notes for Editors

  1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.

 2. The statements to which the MOA is asking stakeholders to sign up are:

 1. Mobile connectivity brings major benefits to individuals, communities and businesses across the UK.

 2. These benefits should be extended as far as possible.

 3. For this to happen we need a national network of masts – local authorities should approve appropriate planning applications from mobile operators and make their own land available to build on.

 4. Operators should have fair access to land (through a reformed Electronic Communications Code) so that they can maintain a consistent service.

 5. Government should make enough Radio Frequency Spectrum available for the operators to provide the best service possible.

Further information about these statements is available at: http://www.mobilemastinfo.com/2012/better-mobile-connectivity-what-you-can-do-to-help.html

 3. The report of the House of Lords Communications Committee - First Report
Broadband for all - an alternative vision, is available here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldselect/ldcomuni/41/4102.htm

4. For more information please contact Christine Jude 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it www.mobilemastinfo.com

5. Follow us onTwitter: @UKmobileinfo
Facebook on: http://www.facebook.com/mobileoperatorsassociation
Website on: www.mobilemastinfo.com

   

Better mobile connectivity: what you can do to help

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11 July 2012

In a country of 60 million people, there are over 81 million mobile connections. Being connected makes a huge positive difference to individuals, communities and businesses across the UK.

With mobile broadband, children can do their homework, students can apply to university, people can apply for work, business owners can run their firms, and families can book their holidays or do their weekly shop. There are wider benefits, too: public services are now accessible via mobiles. For example the NHS sends appointment reminders via text; and, of course, you can call them in an emergency.

Understandably, more and more people want access to mobile communications and the operators are keen to extend the benefits of their services as widely as possible - but we need your help.

There are some areas of the country where it is more difficult than others to build the infrastructure needed to provide a mobile signal: for example, in rural areas where it simply costs more to build base stations or in a town where the local authority won’t let the operators build on public land.

We’re asking people to sign up to the following statements to show their support for bringing the benefits of mobile communications to as many people as possible:

  1. Mobile connectivity brings major benefits to individuals, communities and businesses across the UK.
  2. These benefits should be extended as far as possible.
  3. For this to happen we need a national network of masts – local authorities should approve appropriate planning applications from mobile operators and make their own land available to build on.
  4. Operators should have fair access to land (through a reformed Electronic Communications Code) so that they can maintain a consistent service.
  5. Government should make enough Radio Frequency Spectrum available for the operators to provide the best service possible.

If you agree, show your support by sending an email with SUPPORT in the subject to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Follow us onTwitter: @UKmobileinfo
Facebook on: http://www.facebook.com/mobileoperatorsassociation
Website on: www.mobilemastinfo.com

 

Mobile Operators Association calls for changes to Scottish planning policy

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26 June 2012

The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) has called for changes in Scottish planning policy to ensure that Scotland’s economy and society do not lag behind the rest of the UK.  

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said: “Scotland needs a world-class digital infrastructure if her businesses are to compete in a global market place, if public services are to be delivered effectively, and if we are going to see vibrant and sustainable communities in our cities, towns and rural areas. In the Twenty-first century, good digital connectivity is a necessity, not an optional extra.”

He added: “In theory, current Scottish Government Planning Policy does encourage councils to support the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure. However, the planning system here in Scotland is less supportive than in England or Wales. That compounds the problem of Scotland’s difficult terrain and low population density, both of which make telecommunications infrastructure more challenging and more expensive to deploy, but which also make good digital connectivity even more important.”

 The MOA was responding to two concurrent consultations on Development Delivery, and on Miscellaneous Amendments to the Planning System. Its submissions call for an extension of Permitted Development Rights, to bring those in Scotland into line with England and Wales, and for compulsory training for members of planning authorities and Local Review Bodies.

 John Cooke said: “It’s important that Scotland’s planning system does not act as a disincentive to sustainable economic development. Compulsory training – such as already exists for members of licensing authorities – will ensure that councillors have the right skills and knowledge to apply planning policy properly in the digital age.”

Notes for Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.

2. The Scottish Government’s recent consultations on planning can be found here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/planning/publications/consult

3. The MOA’s detailed responses to the consultations are available at: http://www.mobilemastinfo.com/policy-positions-responses-to-consultations/

4. The Scottish Government’s digital strategy, ‘Scotland’s Digital Future - Infrastructure Action Plan’, is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/2012/01/1487

5. The Scottish Government’s cities strategy, ‘Scotland’s Cities-Delivering for Scotland’ is here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/365367/0124252.pdf

6. For more information please contact John Cooke, 07714 241 925 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it www.mobilemastinfo.com 

7. Follow us onTwitter: @UKmobileinfo
Facebook on: http://www.facebook.com/mobileoperatorsassociation
Website on: www.mobilemastinfo.com 

 

   

John Cooke: Infrastructure is essential for Scots’ digital future

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Published in The Scotsman on Saturday 9 June 2012 00:00

 

THE Scottish Government’s digital strategy, Scotland’s Digital Future, sets out an ambition for a world-class digital infrastructure by 2020. But planning policy and the attitude of some local authorities are hindering the development of the infrastructure needed for mobile broadband.

 In theory, planning policy encourages councils to support the provision of this infrastructure. But the system in Scotland isn’t as supportive as that in England.

Some councils have a split-personality attitude. While economic development departments are busy trying to attract investment, planners are turning down applications for phone masts, usually at the behest of a tiny group of objectors. Businesses aren’t going to relocate to where you can’t get a signal.

There’s hardly a local authority that isn’t on Facebook or Twitter. But the first Scottish council to have a Facebook page has probably the worst record in the UK for turning down mobile phone mast planning applications. What’s the point of having a Facebook page if you make it impossible for people to use it?

Many local councils seem to think that mobile broadband is just for our “new economy” sectors, or for teenagers wanting to download the latest music video. That’s wrong. The Balquhidder B&B and the Portobello plumber need to be online, because their competitors are.

This is also about social inclusion, not just business. Individuals need to be online, for education, to access public services, to shop at the best prices or to find a job.

Scotland has poorer mobile broadband coverage than England, largely because of topography and population density. Improving the planning system won’t change that, but it will mitigate it. We should be making it easier – not harder – for those providing mobile broadband infrastructure, to compensate for the disadvantage Scotland faces because of geography.

Providing world-class connectivity is an essential precondition to ensuring that Scotland can have sustainable economic growth, and a healthy and fair society, in which all her people have the opportunity to realise their potential.

 

• John Cooke is executive director of the Mobile Operators’ Association.

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Mobile network operators brief MLAs on extending mobile services in rural Northern Ireland

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2 May 2012

Representatives of the mobile industry met with decision makers at Stormont today including DETI Minister Arlene Foster MLA to discuss the challenges and opportunities involved in extending mobile services in Northern Ireland.  

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said: “A country’s infrastructure determines its economic prosperity and the quality of its people. In the twenty-first century, mobile telecommunications networks are an essential part of this infrastructure.  

“Some 29% of people in Northern Ireland access the Internet using a mobile device - a number that’s set to grow, thanks to smartphones and tablet computers.  

“We in the industry also know that here in Northern Ireland, coverage isn’t as good as it is in some other parts of the UK. We are keen to explain some of the reasons why this is; and to set out how some of the challenges might be overcome. For example in some parts of Northern Ireland, challenging local geography, the remoteness of the location or simply the smaller number of customers make the case for investment more difficult.

 "Operators are committed to working to extend the benefits of mobile communications as widely as possible, but doing so will require a joint effort, involving industry, the UK Government, Northern Ireland Executive, the planning system and local communities and their representatives. We particularly welcome the priority the Northern Ireland Executive has placed on investment in infrastructure which will be crucial in helping to deliver an improved mobile services in the area."

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 Notes for Editors

 1.           The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.  

2.           For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

3.            Follow us onTwitter: @UKmobileinfo
Facebook on: http://www.facebook.com/mobileoperatorsassociation 
Website on: www.mobilemastinfo.com

   

Major UK review of science welcomed by mobile phone network operators

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Major UK review of science welcomed by mobile phone network operators

26 April 2012

The UK mobile phone network operators today welcomed the publication of the report of the independent Advisory Group on Non Ionising Radiation (AGNIR). AGNIR has found no convincing evidence of a health risk to the public from mobile phone technology.

Commenting on the general conclusions of the report, John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said: "Mobile phones have now been around for 30 years or so, while base stations produce radio-frequency (RF) exposure similar to those used by radio transmitters, which have been operating since the 1920s. The public will be reassured by AGNIR’s conclusion that there is still no convincing evidence that mobile phones cause adverse health effects, despite almost two decades of research involving a large number of studies.”

“There are now over 81 million mobile connections in the UK. Over 4.8 million customers now access mobile broadband services via a laptop and dongle, smartphone, or tablet, and 32 per cent of UK adults use their mobile phones for internet access. Mobile phones are an essential part of our daily lives, bringing huge benefits to individuals, communities and businesses across the country. In the 21st century, mobile networks are a vital part of our national infrastructure, supporting economic growth.”

“The UK mobile network operators are supporting further research, such as the international COSMOS study (Cohort Study on Mobile Phone Use and Health) into long-term use of mobile phones and health.”

.....................................................

Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), O2, Three, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. Information on the MOA can be found on www.mobilemastinfo.com

2. AGNIR is an independent advisory group and now reports to a sub-committee of the Board of the HPA. Its terms of reference are: to review work on the biological effects of non-ionising radiation relevant to human health and to advise on research priorities.

3. The AGNIR Report can be found at http://www.hpa.org.uk/

4. ‘Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields: Report of an independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation’ 2003. http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1194947334474

5. COSMOS is part of the second Mobile Telecommunications Health Research programme. The Report of the first MTHR programme was published in 2007. http://www.mthr.org.uk/documents/MTHR_report_2007.pdf

 

Mobile operators welcome publication of National Planning Policy Framework

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Mobile operators welcome publication of National Planning Policy Framework

 27 March 2012

The mobile network operators welcome the publication, today, of the National Planning Policy Framework and in particular its presumption in favour of sustainable development and encouragement of the expansion of telecommunications networks.  

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association (MOA) said: “Mobile telecommunications are a vital part of our national infrastructure, bringing significant benefits to individuals, communities and businesses. They are as important to today’s digital, knowledge economy as canals and railways were to the first industrial revolution. It’s essential, therefore, that the planning system does not hinder the infrastructure that supports mobile communications.”  

The MOA strongly welcomes the fact that the Framework specifically encourages Local Planning Authorities to support the expansion of electronic communications networks; and that it reiterates previous guidance that; “Local planning authorities must determine applications on planning grounds. They should not seek to prevent competition between different operators, question the need for the telecommunications system, or determine health safeguards if the proposal meets International Commission guidelines for public exposure.”  

John Cooke added; “While each new telecoms proposal is, in itself, generally a small-scale development, all telecommunications developments are part of a wider inter-dependent national network, which is essential to the UK’s economic and social development. It’s important to balance local input into planning with the need to ensure that we don’t have a patchwork quilt of differing local rules that would hinder the national network. Mobile network operators remain committed to responsible network development and will continue to work with local planning authorities in bringing the many benefits of mobile communications to communities across the country.”

Notes for Editors  

1.   The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.  

2. Mobile telecoms are increasingly used in commerce to improve UK companies' competitiveness, effectiveness and delivery.  There are now over 81 million mobile connections in the UK. Over 4.8 million customers now access mobile broadband services via a laptop and dongle, and 28 per cent of UK adults use their mobile phones for internet access.  

3. Previous guidance on planning matters relating to mobile telecommunications masts was contained in PPG8.  

4. The full text of the MOA’s submission in response to the draft NPPF (October 2011) can be found at: http://www.mobilemastinfo.com/images/stories/Draft_NPPF_MOA_Response.pdf  

5. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

   

Mobile network operators brief rural Welsh councils on mobile coverage

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Mobile network operators brief rural Welsh councils on mobile coverage

2 March 2012

Mobile network operators today briefed Leaders and Chief Executives of the nine larger rural local authorities in Wales on mobile coverage in rural Wales. The briefing, to the WLGA Rural Forum meeting in Builth Wells, was about both explaining the challenges of providing coverage in rural areas, and listening to councils’ views about the priorities and needs of rural communities.

Graham Dunn, Policy and External Relations Manager of the Mobile Operators Association said: “We welcome the opportunity to discuss these important issues with key decision makers in rural Wales. Councillors already understand the economic and social benefits of good digital connectivity, and there is a strong drive to improve Broadband coverage in Wales. In rural Wales, where geography, population density, and economics combine to make it more challenging to provide the same level of mobile coverage as we have in our major cities, operators are deploying more infrastructure per capita to serve rural users.”

Cllr Michael Jones, Chair of the Rural Forum said: “Meeting with the mobile network operators today is a great opportunity for us to discuss the challenges of providing coverage in rural areas. We are looking forward to addressing the priorities and needs of our residents and visitors.”

Graham Dunn added: “There won’t be a ‘one size fits all’ solution to improving rural mobile coverage in Wales. That’s partly because landscape will mean different technical solutions will be more appropriate for different areas; and partly, it’s because different local communities will have different priorities – some will want the quality of coverage improved where it already exists, while others will want coverage extended to localities that don’t currently have any.”

Operators are keen to extend the benefits of mobile connectivity, but progress in doing so will need a range of stakeholders – operators, local communities, Ofcom, the Welsh Government, and UK Government - to work together.

Notes for Editors

1.   The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.

2. The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) represents the interests of local government and promotes local democracy in Wales. It represents the 22 local authorities in Wales; and the four police authorities, three fire and rescue authorities and three national park authorities are associate members.

3. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

MOA responds to Mobile Infrastructure Project consultation

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The Mobile Operators Association has responded to the Government's recent consultation on the proposed Mobile Infrastructure Project, aimed at improving mobile coverage in the UK.

You can read our response here: MOA_MIP_STAKEHOLDER_RESPONSE-FINAL.pdf

   

Mobile Operators Association welcomes 'Scotland's Digital Future - Infrastructure Action Plan

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Mobile Operators Association welcomes ‘Scotland's Digital Future - Infrastructure Action Plan’

The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) welcomed the publication today, 31st January, of Scotland’s Digital Future - Infrastructure Action Plan.

 The MOA particularly welcomes the document’s recognition of the vital importance of digital telecommunications, including mobile telecommunications, in terms of sustainable economic development, in the delivery of public services, and in improving social inclusion.

 John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said: “The social and economic importance of good digital communications cannot be underestimated. I am particularly pleased to see that the Scottish Government has set out the intent to deliver world-class digital access and a future-proofed approach that will enable Scotland to keep pace with and surpass international benchmarks, rather than settling for a second-best solution that will not be fit for purpose in a few years’ time.”

 He added, “Delivering this plan will require co-ordinated action by a range of stakeholders. We are pleased that Scottish Government has said that it will work with industry and with local authorities and with COSLA, as the detail of the plan is developed. Planning policy, both at national level and how it is applied at local planning authority level, must support the expansion of electronic communications networks, and be aligned with the Infrastructure Action Plan.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.  
  2. The Scottish Government publication, Scotland’s Digital Future - Infrastructure Action Plan, is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/2012/01/1487  
  3. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

Consult Early; Consult Often: Research with Planners

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Consult Early; Consult Often: Research with Planners Shows Support for Pre-Application Consultation on Mobile Phone Masts

5 January 2012

Pre-application consultation is a key factor in securing local community buy-in to development. That’s one of the findings of research carried out among local authority planning offices by Ipsos MORI for the Mobile Operators Association (MOA).

Providing site specific pre-application consultations and better suggestions for mast siting were cited by 31% of planners as the most important improvements to encourage further local authority engagement in telecoms planning issues. The research also revealed that 62% of planners felt that mobile phone operators made themselves available to meet and discuss their plans prior to submitting planning applications. As one planner said: “We can iron out issues at an early stage before the application arrives.”

John Cooke, Executive Director of the MOA said: “It’s encouraging that so many planning officers agree with us on the importance of pre-application consultation. The operators are committed to it, and it is one of the key parts of the operators’ code of best practice. An effective mobile telecommunications infrastructure is vital to the economy, and operators want to develop their networks in a way that takes account of local needs and sensitivities. The message seems to be that to get the right balance, we need to consult early, and consult often. ”

In its response to the draft National Planning Policy Framework, the MOA has stated its strong support for the policy’s encouragement of pre-application engagement. However the association has warned that while many authorities are happy to hold pre-applications with developers, a minority is unwilling to do so. Operators are also happy if authorities make reasonable charges for pre-application discussion, because they recognize the constraints on resources in planning departments. But the MOA believes that a few demand fees that can’t possibly be based on reasonable cost recovery or represent value for money, but seem to be being used as an extra revenue stream or local ‘stealth tax’.

The research also showed that two thirds of planners feel operators have made sufficient effort to share masts. The proportion of planners saying that has increased significantly in the last three years. That is probably explained by the fact that operators have developed new ways to share infrastructure, to cut costs, and to help reduce energy consumption and the overall environmental footprint of networks. In fact, around two thirds of all mobile phone base stations in use in the UK are located on existing buildings and structures, including buildings, TV and radio transmission towers and existing mobile phone masts.

John Cooke added: “Operators’ networks are planned nationally but built locally. An effective planning system is therefore vital in meeting the needs of the public for greater coverage and capacity. In turn, that’s vital for the delivery of sustainable economic development, and to social inclusion, and crucial to the success of the Government’s plans for digital connectivity.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.
  2. Technical note for Editors: 100 telephone interviews conducted by Ipsos MORI among senior local authority planners involved in mobile phone base station planning between 18th May and 3rd June 2011.  
  3. The planners research can be accessed on the MOA website: http://www.mobilemastinfo.com/2011/ipsos-mori-planning-officers-research-published.html 4.
  4. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
   

Mobile phones are now a necessity: just don’t bother us with conflicting advice

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“Mobile phones are now a necessity: just don’t bother us with conflicting advice”

4 January 2012

Two fifths of people say there is so much conflicting information about alleged health issues related to mobile phones and masts that they’d rather not hear about it.

That was one of the findings of a recent survey of almost 2,000 adults in Britain, carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Mobile Operators Association (MOA). However, the study also showed that people are generally not worried about these alleged health effects, with levels of concern at half the level of a decade ago. Around 90% of adults now use a mobile, and 83% agree that they are a ‘necessity’ for modern life.

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said: “it’s understandable that some people think that the information on mobiles and health is conflicting, because any suggestion of health risks in any walk of life tends to make headlines, whereas a study saying that there’s no problem doesn’t. In fact, the scientific consensus and the official advice - both here in the UK and internationally - is reassuring”.

He added: “The World Health Organisation says that a large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades, and that to date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”

 

When asked about children using mobile phones, just under a half agreed that advantages of a child having a mobile phone outweighed the disadvantages, compared to a fifth of people who disagreed. The proportion of those agreeing rose among younger people, and among those with children in their household.

John Cooke added: “The Health Protection Agency (HPA) here in the UK says that parents who are worried about mobiles and children’s health should discourage excessive use, and encourage children to text rather than to make a voice call. That’s advice that is going with the grain of how kids are increasingly using their mobiles anyway”. The HPA advice also confirms that no adverse health effects have been established from the use of mobiles.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.
  2. Technical note for editors: 1965 face to face interviews conducted by Ipsos MORI among the GB general public aged over 15 on 2nd – 8th September 2011.
  3. The general public research can be accessed on the MOA website: http://www.mobilemastinfo.com/opinion-research/opinion-research.html
  4. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it