The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) has hit back at suggestions that the industry has not been doing enough to improve mobile coverage.
In statement released today (06/11/2014) the association revealed its anger at suggestions that operators had been uncooperative describing it as ‘completely unwarranted’ and undermining what had ‘previously been a constructive dialogue with Government.’
The document pulled no punches when it came to rural coverage improvement, highlighting the regulatory problems that frequently affect efforts to improve mobile coverage.
Detailing some of the problems the MOA said: ‘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.’
Commenting on the discussions between the Government and the operators the MOA said: ‘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.’
The association said that it had ‘met or exceeded all the obligations set by Ofcom in their licences’ pointing out that a 2G or a 3G service is available to over 99% of the UK population with 4G already reaching 75%. The body also revealed that operators were collectively investing £3 billion in improving their networks, this year alone.