EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three have signed an agreement to provide voice coverage to 90 percent of the UK by 2017.
The deal follows an arrangement secured between the government and the operators in December, estimated to be worth a total of £5bn, in which a number of commitments were made to enhance mobile coverage.
Culture secretary Sajid Javid touted the deal as proof that the government’s pledge to improve mobile coverage is moving in the right direction.
“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,” he said.
“Now at last we have progress that will give the UK the world-class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves."
Unsurprisingly EE, Vodafone, Three and O2 all said they were delighted that the agreement was in place, claiming that it will have benefits for all mobile users, regardless of network.
Derek McManus, chief operating officer of O2, said: “A partnership between government and the mobile operators is required to maximise coverage across the UK, so this agreement is a good outcome for our customers."
Dave Dyson, CEO of Three, added: "This agreement reflects the strength of our network today, our plans for the future and our commitment to bring its benefits to more people and more places than ever before.”
Operators have been wary about any price hikes to the cost of spectrum, so may well hope that agreeing to such measures lessens any price changes.
The agreement comes amid numerous deals among telecoms firms that look set to radically alter the market.
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