The Big UK Mobile News Is Signal Strength Not A Merger


Whilst there was uproar on one of our most covered stories, the O2 and Three merger and also BT purchasing EE. The UK government was dealing with all the networks and signing a “landmark deal.” Something that will have more to do with your mobile than any merger but it did still cost billions of pounds.

The government has finished a huge deal with all of the four major UK mobile networks that will require all of them to provide improved mobile network coverage across ALL of the UK. The four major networks EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have now made the deal legally binding by accepting amended license conditions to reflect the agreement.

Not Spots

mobile signal uk
image of the UK Signal – from

UK culture secretary Sajid Javid announced the deal that will include legal requirements to improve poor signal. This deal also attempts to tackle what he calls “partial not-spots,” or areas of the country that are unable to get any mobile signal at all. Possibly even more important, this deal will address areas where only one network can provide signal, limiting customer choice – something extremely bad for customers.

“For far too long, too many parts of the UK have regularly suffered from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts. Now at last we have progress that will give the UK the world-class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves.” – Sajid Javid, UK Culture secretary

Each network must now provide consistent signal across the whole area they provide service to. If they don’t deliver on signal strength or quality, this legally binding contract means the government’s regulator Ofcom will be able to enforce improvements. All networks will be monitored regularly by Ofcom, and will be expected to meet interim goals by 2016.

90% Coverage

The big four UK networks have agreed to collectively fund a £5bn investment towards improvements to signal by 2017. These investments will bring voice and text coverage up to 90% for each network individually by 2017. This will also Cut “total not-spots” by two thirds, bringing total network coverage across the UK up from 69% to 85%.

This does not take into account any internet access technology, so 3g and 4g signal is not covered under the same deal – however it must still provide a quality voice service. With improvement to overall infrastructure quality of service as a whole is bound to improve. The government also suggested a plan to allow roaming across networks when signal is lost on one network, but that was vehemently resisted.

Are you excited to see better voice service across the UK? Would you have preferred some variety of data deal instead?  Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.

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Last Updated on November 27, 2018.


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