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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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