Tuesday, 19 March 2019

UK MNOs must be held to account on rural 4G, says parliamentary subcommittee

Chris Kelly
Monday 11 March 19

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Business has urged Ofcom to take a proactive role in managing new mast deployment in rural areas

A group of 40 MPs has written to the UK’s telecoms regulator, Ofcom, to ask that it maintains a firm hand with the country’s big four mobile network operators, over their recent commitments to boost mobile network coverage in rural areas…

A group of 40 MPs has written to the UK’s telecoms regulator, Ofcom, to ask that it maintains a firm hand with the country’s big four mobile network operators, over their recent commitments to boost mobile network coverage in rural areas.

Ofcom has recently outlined plans for all four MNOs to achieve 90 per cent geographic coverage on their 4G networks, a feat which will require the installation of around 500 new masts.

As these masts will be located in sparsely populated areas, it is unlikely that operators will see much of a financial return on their investment, and for this reason the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Business has called on Ofcom to keep a sharp eye on the operators’ deployment plans. As things stand, there is no plan to review the deployment of new masts until the end of the review process in 2024.  

“While Ofcom’s initial announcement truly has the potential to revolutionise mobile coverage across the countryside, it will fall by the wayside if progress is not monitored on a regular basis. We need annual reporting to ensure that mobile operators are holding their promises to the public on delivering a 4G network which works for people wherever they live,” Chair of the APPG on Rural Business Julian Sturdy MP.

 

Reducing Britain’s digital divide will be a key theme at this year’s Connected Britain event. Held from the 18th – 19th June 2019,  Connected Britain will bring together the key stakeholders from the UK’s fixed line and mobile connectivity sectors. Click here to find out how you can be involved in the event.

 

Also in the news:

Vodafone: UK MNOs must have access to Openreach's dark fibre 

Telefonica CEO calls for better regulation of Europe's 5G rollout

O2 boosts rural connectivity for remote Scottish islands

 

Since you're here...

...the Telecoms industry is characterised by constant change and evolution. That's why it's crucial for telecoms professionals to keep up-to-date with what is happening. Join 35,000+ of your peers and sign up to our free newsletter service today, to be in the know about what is going on. PLUS, as a member you can submit your own press releases!

See all membership options

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Newsletter signup

Quickly get on board and up to date with the telecoms industry