The deal has secured £5bn of investment into infrastructure, and commits each of the operators to 90 per cent geographic coverage in the UK by 2017. It is a move that aims to help with the coverage of mobiles across the country, particularly in the rural areas, with the Island being a prime example.
A number of partial and total ‘not-spots’ will be vastly reduced, and by 2017 full mobile coverage (where every operator provides signal) will have increased to 85% of geographic areas from its current level of 69%.
Mr Turner recently invited representatives from Vodafone to come to the Island to talk to a number of concerned Islanders who had contacted him about the issue of poor mobile phone coverage. As a result, American company, Rootmetrics, have agreed to carry out an Islandwide survey of all networks, free-of-charge, early in the New Year.
Mr Turner said:
“This is a national deal and I hope the Island sees some of this investment so that the black spots for mobile phone coverage that blight our connectivity will virtually disappear. As a voluntary deal, it is much better for the consumers as it locks in guaranteed investment from the operators. Being connected to the world is so important these days, for business people, families and friends. It will make it easier for people to communicate and for businesses to grow and innovate – having a signal may even save a life. This is another prime example of the Government’s long-term economic plan working and the people of the UK gaining the benefits”.
Although the deal is legally binding, it was signed voluntarily by all four of the UK’s mobile network operators – EE, O2, Vodaphone and Three – and comes as a result of extensive government pressure to resolve problematic coverage.