MOBILE phone ‘partial not spots’ could be a thing of the past after a deal to improve signal coverage was agreed by the UK’s four operators – EE, O2, Vodafone and Three.
It came about following a campaign led by Bromsgrove MP and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid to eradicate the problem which affects a fifth of the British Isles.
‘Partial not spots’ are areas within the UK that have coverage from some but not all of the four mobile networks.
Under the brokered agreement, all four of the mobile networks have collectively pledged to invest £5billion to improve mobile infrastructure by 2017, guaranteeing voice and text coverage from each operator across 90 per cent of the UK geographic area.
That will see the areas currently blighted by patchy coverage as a result of ‘partial not spots’ halved and full coverage from all four mobile operators increased from 69 per cent of Britain to 85 per cent by 2017.
The investment would also provide reliable signal strength for voice calls for each type of mobile service.
Currently, in some areas, residents frequently lose their signal or cannot get a signal long enough to make a call.
And, because the deal is legally binding, it will be enforceable by Ofcom.
Mr Javid, who officially announced the deal, said: “Too many parts of the UK regularly suffer from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts.
“Government and businesses have been clear about the importance of mobile connectivity, and improved coverage, so this legally binding agreement will give the UK the world class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves.
“The £5b investment from the mobile networks in the UK’s infrastructure will help drive this Government’s long-term economic plan.”
Ofcom will regularly monitor the progress of the scheme and Mr Javid, who will be receiving updates, expects the operators to meet an interim goal next year before the main one in 2017.