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2014

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MOBILE OPERATORS AGREE PLAN TO BOOST COVERAGE ACROSS THE UK

 

The four UK mobile operators have voluntarily reached an agreement to provide voice and text coverage to at least 90% of the UK land mass by the end of 2017.  

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators (MOA) said: “The UK already enjoys some of the lowest prices in Europe, and, some of the best coverage in Europe. This new agreement will make the UK the only major country in Europe to have a 90% land mass coverage obligation”.  

He added: “In addition, the agreement will ensure that full coverage from all four mobile operators will increase from 69 per cent to 85 per cent of geographic areas by 2017; and will provide reliable signal strength for each type of mobile service, whether 2G, 3G, or 4G”.  

In return for this major investment commitment from the industry, the Government has agreed to reform the Electronic Communications Code – something industry has been urging for years; it will allow many Government buildings to be used as sites for mobile infrastructure; and will ask Ofcom to look at operators’ Annual Licence Fees. 

 

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Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – EE (including Orange & T-Mobile), Telefónica 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.  

2. According to Ofcom (Infrastructure Report 2014) http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/infrastructure/2014/IR_5.pdf

outdoor 2G mobile coverage is available to 99%of UK premises from at least one operator, while 84% of premises have outdoor 3G mobile coverage, and 72% already have 4G.  

3. Also according to Ofcom, UK consumers enjoy lower priced communications services than people in other major European countries and the US.  http://media.ofcom.org.uk/news/2013/uk-communications-deals-cheaper/   

4. The DCMS announcement covering the agreement can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-secures-landmark-deal-for-uk-mobile-phone-users  

5. 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    

 

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MOBILE OPERATORS ASSOCIATION REFUTE SUGGESTIONS OF LACK OF EFFORT IN IMPROVING COVERAGE

5 November 2014

The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) today refuted suggestions that the industry had been merely ‘talking a good game’ in their efforts to improve mobile coverage.

 

Each of the mobile network operators has met or exceeded all the obligations set by Ofcom in their licences.  A 2G or a 3G service is available to over 99% of the UK population and 4G already reaches 75%. Operators collectively are investing £3 billion in improving their networks, this year alone. However, operators know - not least from their customers - that there are places where coverage could be better. And let’s be clear, industry wants to improve coverage further in those areas. That’s why we have been talking to the Government for the last three years about various policy and regulatory reforms that could remove some of the barriers to improving rural coverage. These include reforming the planning system, reforming the Electronic Communications Code, and reforming business rates. The Government’s response on planning was lukewarm, and there has been no movement on the other issues.

 

In the course of discussions with Government about improving coverage, each of the mobile operators, each of them has been positive about extending coverage through both individual and collaborative initiatives, including further site sharing. The operators have also jointly suggested a process that would deliver a binding commitment to reduce partial not-spots. They will remain constructive in response to proposals published by DCMS today. While the operators have consistently argued that national roaming - one proposal in the Government’s consultation paper - is the wrong solution, the suggestion that they have been uncooperative is completely unwarranted and undermines what was previously a constructive dialogue with Government. 

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Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – EE (including Orange & T-Mobile), Telefónica 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.

 

2. According to Ofcom (Infrastructure Report 2013 - http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/telecoms-research/infrastructure-report/IRU_2013.pdf ) outdoor 2G mobile coverage from all four operators is available to 94.1% of premises in the UK, while 99.7 of premises have outdoor 2G mobile coverage from at least one operator (Communications Market Report 2014 - http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/cmr/cmr14/Scotland_1.pdf )

 

 

3. According to Ofcom, UK consumers enjoy lower priced communications services than people in other major European countries and the US. : http://media.ofcom.org.uk/news/2013/uk-communications-deals-cheaper/

 

 

4. The DCMS consultation paper ‘Tackling Partial Not-Spots in Mobile Phone Coverage’ is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eliminating-poor-mobile-coverage

 

5.  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

 

 

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New Agreement Ensures National Parks are Connected and Beautiful

England's National Parks stand to benefit from improved mobile coverage in ways that respect their very sensitive environment, following a landmark agreement between National Parks England the Mobile Operators Association. The agreement has attracted support and was launched by Government Ministers from DCMS, Defra and CLG.

The Accord [1] was brokered between National Parks England [2] and the Mobile Operators Association [3] and aims to:

• help communities living in National Parks to benefit from consistent high quality connectivity;
• protect the special qualities of the National Parks by minimising any adverse environmental impacts; and
• to support close working between Operators and National Park Authorities to achieve these aims.

With English National Parks covering almost 10% of the country, the new agreement is an important step forward in making sure our rural areas benefit from modern technological advances.

• There are now over 82.7 million mobile subscriptions in the UK.
• Around a quarter of adults now own a tablet device and half of us are using our mobile phones for internet access [4].
• Almost nine in ten small businesses say that a mobile phone is important to their business operation. [5]

Chair of National Parks England and the North York Moors National Park Authority, Jim Bailey said:

"National Parks have always been about finding pragmatic long term solutions to the many competing demands on land. Ensuring modern telecommunications infrastructure is no different. Today's agreement will be good for the thousands of businesses and people living in our National Parks, for the millions who visit them, and for the stunning landscapes and towns that are the lifeblood for our rural economies."

Executive Director for the Mobile Operators Association, John Cooke said:

"There are compelling social and economic reasons for having good mobile connectivity, including mobile broadband, in rural areas; the benefits are even greater to rural communities, because such connectivity mitigates the disadvantages of greater physical distances and poor transport links. Operators have worked well with National Parks England to ensure that the benefits of mobile connectivity reach communities in these beautiful parts of our country and help them survive and thrive in the 21st century."

Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey MP said:

"Our National Parks are areas of incredible beauty but they are also places where people live and work. They need access to the modern communications that many of us have taken for granted for years. The new agreement could make a real difference to those who live, work or visit our glorious National Parks."
Environment Minister Lord de Mauley, said:
"Our National Parks are living, working places worth more than £4bn to our economy - it is essential businesses and homes there have access to 21st century communications.
"This spirit of cooperation is exactly what is needed to bring modern technology to remote areas so we can close the digital divide and help grow our rural economy. The Government takes this issue extremely seriously - we are funding the £150 million Mobile Infrastructure Project to deal with mobile 'notspots' across the UK, just one aspect of our long term economic plan."
Planning Minister Nick Boles MP said:

"I welcome the publication of the Accord between National Parks England and the Mobile Operators Association to provide the best possible mobile coverage in National Parks. The Accord supports the principles of the sector-led and owned Code of Best Practice on Mobile Phone Network Deployment, published last July."

Exmoor's National Park Officer, Nigel Stone added:

"National Park Authorities have developed good working relationships with the installers of mobile phone networks where close working has enabled areas to receive good coverage without detriment to some of England's most sensitive landscapes. Increasingly, the cost of deployment and operation of new mobile phone masts has been the most significant barrier to wider coverage as we have worked together to enable careful siting and design of new installations. We welcome interest from mobile operators in extending their networks to the benefit of local communities and visitors to National Parks."

Notes to Editors

1. Copies of the National Parks England and Mobile Operators Association Joint Accord are available on request, or can be viewed at the National Parks England website section on publications and documents.
2. National Parks England is the umbrella organisation that brings together the nine National Park Authorities (NPAs) and the Broads Authority. It exists to support policy and practice by providing a collective voice for the views of the English NPAs; raising the profile of their work; facilitating discussion on issues of common concern; and working in partnership with other bodies.
For more information see: Web: www.nationalparksengland.org.uk Twitter: @natparksengland
3. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – EE (including Orange & T-Mobile), Telefónica 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.

4. Source: OFCOM, The Communications Market Report 2013

5. Source: Federation of Small Businesses, 'Voice of Small Business' Survey Panel – April 2012

6. Photographs of Environment Minister Lord de Mauley and representatives of the National Parks and Mobile Operators supporting the launch are available on request.

Contacts for further information:

Paul Hamblin – Director (w) 020 7072 7421 (m) 07968 760 854
National Parks England
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Christine Jude - Media and Communications (m) 07736 110787
Mobile Operators Association
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Contact details for Media Officers for each of the National Parks are available.

   

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MOA welcomes Scottish Government Mobile Report

The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) today welcomed the publication by the Scottish Government of the report ‘Economic Impacts of Mobile Communications in Scotland’ and its associated consultation on changes to Permitted Development Rights. 

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said: “As the report makes clear, good mobile connectivity has the potential to make a huge contribution to the productivity of public services in Scotland and to the wider Scottish economy over the next few years. We also welcomed the report’s recommendation to Scottish Government to minimise the barriers for 4G roll-out, and in particular to reduce planning constraints.” 

He added: “Planning constraints on mobile networks are significantly more restrictive in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. That’s a disincentive to investment in the infrastructure on which mobile connectivity depends, and delays the deployment of such infrastructure when it does go ahead, and risks Scotland being put at a competitive disadvantage. We therefore welcome the consultation on changes to Permitted Development Rights. These proposals will, if adopted, improve mobile connectivity in Scotland. However, we are disappointed that the consultation contains no proposals to amend the planning process in relation to new masts, as new masts are what will be needed if we are to improve coverage in rural Scotland.

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Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – EE (including Orange & T-Mobile), Telefónica 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.

2. ‘Economic Impacts of Mobile Communications in Scotland: Report to Scottish Government’ is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/03/6913

3. The Consultation on Changes to Permitted Development Rights for Development by Telecommunications Code Operators is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/03/4021

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

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