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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