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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
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