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The UK’s four mobile network operators have signed an agreement with the Government and regulators Ofcom to improve mobile coverage across the UK.

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have all agreed to take action against so called ‘partial not-spots’, which are areas of the UK that have coverage from some, but not all, of these networks.

The deal signed today is a legally binding agreement, and gives communications regulator Ofcom the ability to enforce a consistent signal strength from all the network operators – and across the entire area they serve.

This will be of huge benefit to both consumer and business mobile users who regularly suffer from the inability to make calls or send text messages due to the varying quality of their mobile signal.

The highlights of this agreement are:

  • The introduction of a programme that will bring £5bn investment into the UK’s mobile infrastructure by 2017; boosting the economy
  • Guaranteed voice and text coverage from all the mobile network providers across 90% of the UK 2017, halving the areas currently plagued by ‘not-spots’
  • Full coverage from the mobile operators will increase to 85% of geographic areas by 2017, compared to 69% at present
  • Reliable signal strength will be provided for voice on each type of mobile service available (including 2G, 3G and 4G services)

How will these changes benefit business mobile users?

Mobile phones form an important part of business communications nowadays, with companies taking advantage of Unified Communications (UC) solutions that allow staff to communicate with colleagues, customers and other stakeholders from wherever they are. The concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is also proving popular among the business community.

This landmark agreement between the Government and the UK’s four mobile network providers will be of great benefit to business mobile users across the country.

The reduction in ‘partial not-spots’ and commitment to improve both the geographic area covered, and quality of connections in these areas, will grant remote and mobile workers better access, allowing them to use their mobile phones uninterrupted wherever they are.

Such changes will also give UK businesses more freedom to choose their mobile network, rather than base their decision on signal strength and availability in their area as some have to at present. It will also reduce the necessity for businesses to review the mobile signal strengths when they move office.

Read the GOV.UK statement in full (external link).

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