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EE, O2, Three and Vodafone enter UK mobile coverage deal worth £5bn

The deal was pushed by culture secretary Sajid Javid

The government has brokered a £5bn agreement between the big four UK mobile carriers to provide service for 90 per cent of the nation's geographic landmass.

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone will reduce the number of “not-spots” across the UK by 2017 in a bid to provide most of the population with functional mobile services. This comes after the firms in September unanimously rejected a government proposal to share coverage, allowing users to piggyback over networks when theirs is not available.

Sajid Javid, UK culture secretary, said: “I am pleased to have secured a legally binding deal with the four mobile networks.

“Too many parts of the UK regularly suffer from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts.”

Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE, added: “EE is focused on bringing the best voice and data service to its customers across the UK. This agreement ensures that our customers are able to stay connected in even more places up and down the country.”

The partnership will be enforced by broadcast regulator Ofcom.

By 2017, the mobile landscape could be unrecognisable, especially if BT follows through with its proposed £12.5bn acquisition of EE, announced earlier this week.

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