Mobile operators and Council explore ways to expand coverage

This story was published 1 March 2018

Britain’s four major mobile phone operators and the County Council have pledged to work together to improve mobile phone coverage across North Yorkshire.

Picture shows: At the meeting are (from left, seated) David Bowe, North Yorkshire County Council’s Director of Business and Environmental Services, and Hamish MacLeod, Director of Mobile UK, (standing) Michael Grayson, the County Council’s Programme Manager for Mobile Connectivity; Chris Hankins of Vodafone, Gareth Edwards of Mobile UK; Tom Corcoran of Three; Sarwar Khan of O2; Chris Parkinson of Vodafone, Matt O’Neill, the County Council’s Assistant Director for Growth, Planning and Trading Standards; Alan

The County Council and industry body Mobile UK worked together to host a meeting on Wednesday (28 February) that brought together representatives from operators EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

The roundtable discussed coverage across North Yorkshire and sought to understand from operators how to achieve improvements in areas with challenging topography, no or poor coverage. The County Council also discussed possible funding options for tackling not spots with other bodies including the Local Enterprise Partnership and making its own property available to be used to host mobile infrastructure.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “We are greatly encouraged by the support given at the meeting by the main mobile phone operators. The County Council is committed to supporting better mobile coverage, which is essential if we are to encourage business growth and attract visitors and people to live in the area. In addition to working with the mobile operators, we will liaise with communities and district planners to help to overcome opposition to mast installations.”

Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK, said: “North Yorkshire represents a particular challenge to mobile operators due to its population spread and unique topography. Mobile UK and its member operators welcome the opportunity to engage with North Yorkshire County Council to discuss mobile coverage and to explore ways to work together to make it easier to deploy mobile infrastructure throughout the county.”

The move builds on the County Council’s work to develop the county’s digital infrastructure, including its investment in bringing high-speed broadband access to remote communities. It supports the authority’s Plan for Growth, which sets out an ambition to increase good-quality jobs, improve access to economic opportunities and boost average wages. Better mobile phone coverage is a vital element in achieving these aims.

Mobile UK has created its Building Mobile Britain campaign to work with national and local government and industry groups to overcome the challenges around expanding mobile networks. For further information, visit www.buildingmobilebritain.org.uk or see #BuildingMobileBritain on Twitter.