The end to mobile not-spots in Norfolk?

The end to mobile not-spots in Norfolk?

£1 billion deal set to (almost) solve poor mobile coverage as the big four mobile networks make a deal to share masts.

Poor mobile coverage in this part of the county is a fact of life but in a press release this morning the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport claims that this will be a thing of the past as the Government champions a £1 billion deal with the mobile phone industry to banish rural not-spots.

In a world-first deal with the big four, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, investing in a network of new and existing phone masts they would all share. The move is said to bring 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the UK by 2025.

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan is supportive of a £530 million proposal from the UK’s mobile network operators for a Shared Rural Network with the potential for it to be matched by £500 million investment from Government. She said:

"We are determined to make sure no part of the country is left behind when it comes to mobile connectivity. We are closing in on a deal with the mobile network operators so those living in rural areas will be able to get the fast and reliable mobile coverage they need and deserve.

"Brokering an agreement for mast sharing between networks alongside new investment in mobile infrastructure will mean people get good 4G signal no matter where they are or which provider they’re with.

"But it is not yet a done deal and I want to see industry move quickly so we can reach a final agreement early next year.”

The press release continues:

"Under the proposal, the four operators will invest £530 million to open up and share existing masts and infrastructure to close almost all partial not-spots - areas where there is currently only coverage from at least one but not all operators. It would also mean additional mobile coverage for 280,000 premises and 16,000 kilometres of roads.

"If the operators agree to meet these ambitions on partial not spots, the Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan has been clear government will commit up to £500 million of investment to go even further to eliminate total not-spots - those hard-to-reach areas where there is currently no coverage from any operator.

"Government-owned mobile infrastructure built as part of the Emergency Services Network will also be made available to all four operators, taking full advantage of government assets. This is expected to contribute to the coverage target by delivering up to an additional 2% of geographic coverage per operator, in some of the most remote, rural locations."

The big question remains: will this part of Norfolk be part of the 95% or will we still be in the not-spot 5%? Looking at the RootMetrics coverage map parts of the Town and Around distribution area are currently marked in red and orange (poor to bad) while much of the coast/beach areas remain untested.

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