The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that it has agreed a deal with the four major mobile networks over ‘national roaming’ proposals as revealed by Mobile last week.
The agreement sees the networks pledging a guaranteed £5bn investment programme to improve mobile infrastructure by 2017.
The deal also guarantees voice and text coverage from each operator across 90% of the UK geographic area by 2017. As well as a promise that full coverage from all four mobile operators will increase from 69% to 85% of geographic areas by 2017.
In return the Government said it would work with Ofcom in revising the mobile operator’s Annual Licence Fees.
The Government has also promised to reform the ‘out-dated and ineffective’ Electronic Communications Code to make it easier for the whole communications sector to rollout out new mobile and broadband services.
It was also announced that many of the Government’s freehold buildings would be allowed to be used as sites for mobile infrastructure.
The agreement is legally binding for the networks who and will be enforceable by Ofcom.
Sajid Javid, culture secretary said: ‘I am pleased to have secured a legally binding deal with the four mobile networks. Too many parts of the UK regularly suffer from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts.